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Lifeboats News Release

Local lifeboat asks for online auction prizes


The Aith Lifeboat Gala normally involves joint exercises with emergency service colleagues

Lifeboat fundraising efforts in Aith are being organised online again in 2021. Over £5,500 was raised last year through the online auction held in place of the village’s annual Gala Day – which was cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Aith Lifeboat Gala Committee is now asking local businesses and members of the public to once again donate prizes to the cause.

Anyone who can donate an auction prize is asked to contact Laura Nicolson or Irene Simpson (through Facebook Messenger) or by emailing the Aith Lifeboat Station - [email protected]

Committee member Frances Moffat says that an online auction allows people from all over the isles to take part:

“We’ll all miss the usual Gala festivities for the second year in a row, but keeping our fundraising efforts online is the only sensible decision under the current circumstances.

“The Aith Lifeboat continues to do important work saving lives at sea. Because the lifeboat is based here, we see just how often it gets called on to help folk all around Shetland. Last year’s online auction was a great success, and we’re hopeful that the level of support from the wider community can continue.”

The Aith Lifeboat Gala event had been running on an annual basis since 1972, as a celebration of the Aith community and its ties to the RNLI – normally raising around £6000 for the local lifeboat station every year.

John Robertson is Coxswain of the Aith Lifeboat station. He says: “The RNLI is very lucky to have such a supportive community here in Aith, and across the whole of Shetland. We’re always grateful for the fantastic public support, and a big thanks to all of our local fundraising team.

“Next year will mark 50 years since our Gala Day started, so we look forward to those celebrations!”

It’s hoped that the online auction – run through Facebook – will open for bidding from 9am on Friday 4 June, closing at 9pm on Sunday 6 June. Depending on COVID restrictions at the time, the organising committee also hopes to offer takeaway suppers from the Aith Hall between 4.30 and 6.30pm on Saturday 5 June.

Local fundraising events can be a key source of income for RNLI lifeboat stations. Volunteer crews remain on standby and ready to respond to emergencies at sea.

Donations to the RNLI can always be made online here:

Note to editors

Aith lifeboat station has been operating for over 80 years, and is the most northerly in the UK. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to:

RNLI media contacts

Daniel Lawson, Lifeboat Press Officer, 07765560695

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Media Officer for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]

Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639,[email protected]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789


Crowds at the Lifeboat Gala in 2017


It's hoped that the annual Gala day can return in 2022 to celebrate its 50th anniversary

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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.

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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.