Aberdeen Lifeboat launches to aid surfer off Aberdeen beach
The crew of Aberdeen’s inshore lifeboat were forced to break ‘self-isolation’ at home today to launch to assist a surfer at Aberdeen beach following a request from the UK Coastguard.
The crew of three mustered quickly and launched the 5m-long D-class lifeboat ‘Buoy Woody 85N’ shortly after 3.30pm today, Tuesday 14 April, making best speed to the scene and arriving at around 3.45pm.
The surfer had been reported to be having difficulty getting back on their board or swimming ashore however, by the time the lifeboat arrived, was on their board and in no immediate danger. After speaking with the lifeboat crew, the surfer made his own way ashore.
The RNLI always says that any member of the public who is concerned for someone’s safety must not hesitate to call the Coastguard. The only action which could have prevented the crew from being called out would today have been if this surfer had stayed at home.
Bill Deans MBE, operations manager at Aberdeen Lifeboat Station, is disappointed his crew had to expose themselves to risk in this way.
“Like most people, our volunteer lifeboat crew members are self-isolating at home in line with government guidelines – mostly doing their day-jobs remotely. But they are always willing to set aside their own concerns to respond if the call comes that someone is in danger at sea,” says Mr Deans.
“There is no way a lifeboat crew of three can maintain 2m separation aboard a 5 metre long lifeboat – and if they had required to pull someone from the water, the infection concerns are obvious to all.”
Bill Deans continued: “I have every sympathy with people who would like to use their daily exercise period to swim, sail, surf or whatever – but on behalf of every lifeboat crewmember in the UK and Ireland, I have to appeal to them not to put our crews at indirect risk by going into or onto the sea. Stay safe ashore, protect the emergency services and save lives.”
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.