RNLI Aith’s Annual Gala Event ends with lifeboat call out!
RNLI Aith Lifeboat Station held their annual gala event on Sunday 2 June 2019, and although the weather was unpleasant, many people braved the rain and wind to show their support for the RNLI.
The gala kicked off with a parade of lifeboat men and vikings, as Stormy Sam and the voluntary crew members marched with the Jarl squads from various communities throughout Shetland, from the local community hall down to the pier.
The parade ended down at the lifeboat station, where there was a variety of stalls and activities set up to entertain and amuse all the family. These included candy floss, BBQ, chocolate fondue and Mr Stripey ice cream. There were RNLI souvenirs for sale, and visitors could also look around the RNLI Charles Lidbury. There was also the Jarl squad pie eating competition, and the live music on offer also helped to make the day enjoyable for all the family, despite the weather. The event was rounded off in the evening with the live auction, where bids were accepted on items such as a Shetland rug, or a mystery ‘Lucky Bag’!
The total amount raised on the day was £4769.50, and RNLI Coxswain Adam James said he would like to thank everyone who had helped in any way to make the day a success.
As the day was winding to a close, crew members started to dismantle the marquees. However, the lifeboat crew were still in their ‘yellows’ when suddenly the pagers went off, and crew were called to go to the aid of a fishing vessel ‘Kayla’, which had engine trouble 7 miles west of Papa Sound.
The crew were ready at the lifeboat station, so they left straight away at 6.15pm. They arrived on scene at 6.55pm, and had a tow connected to the Kayla by 7.05pm. The vessel was towed back to Aith pier, arriving safely at 9.10pm.
The volunteer crew were then able to stand down, and finish the clearing up!
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.