Invergordon RNLI bids a farewell to their Trent Class after 25 years service
The Trent era for the Invergordon Lifeboat crew came to an end today when they bid farewell to their trusted all-weather Trent class lifeboat, as she roared up the Cromarty Firth one last time.
Powered by the unforgettable sound of her two diesel MAN engines, members of the volunteer crew took their trusted and faithful RNLB ‘Douglas Aikman Smith’ (RNLI 14-08) which served loyally to Invergordon Lifeboat Station since coming on station in January 1996, on passage to Inverness Marina, where she will become a member of the RNLI’s Scottish relief fleet.
Over the twenty-five years on station, the Trent class lifeboat has launched around 396 times on active service, and aided hundreds of people, and recognised for saving ten lives at sea, two of which were in 2020, within the Cromarty Firth, a short distance from the station, and to which made her television debut on BBC’s Saving Lives at Sea.
That said, she has seen many scenarios over the years, from the broken down and stricken vessels in and around the Cromarty, Moray, Dornoch and Beauly Firths, stranded walkers, missing persons, hostage situations and attending the RAF Tornado incident in the Moray Firth to name but a few, but always a welcome sight to those who needed her, and then for the harbour days and open days she attended around the operational area, welcoming thousands on-board for a look around and an insight to RNLI Volunteering, all amazed by her and the capabilities and condition.
The day tinged with pride and sadness as the farewell from Invergordon as she transited out of the Cromarty Firth and round the Buss Bank bouy for the final time, it was now over to the Shannon class lifeboat RNLB ‘Agnes AP Barr’ (RNLI 13-37) and the 9,500 Launch a Memory names on her hull to take up the guard of the operational patch, from its trusted predecessor who will continue as a trusted asset to any station who she serves with as a relief lifeboat.
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.