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Aith Lifeboat represents RNLI to royalty

Lifeboats News Release

HRH Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay, met with representatives from the RNLI on his recent visit to the Shetland Islands.

HRH Prince Charles meets Aith Lifeboat crew in Scalloway

Jane Barlow/Getty Images

Members of the Aith Lifeboat crew – the most northern RNLI station – were invited to speak with His Royal Highness whilst he toured the NAFC Marine Centre in Scalloway on Friday 30th July 2021.

Aith Coxswain John Robertson – a crew member since 2013 - was joined by the station’s newly appointed mechanic Robbie Abernethy, who took up post last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We feel very privileged”, said Robbie. “It’s a rare opportunity to share with people what the RNLI does, and a great chance to represent everybody’s efforts.”

The Duke expressed an interest in the work of the RNLI station in Aith – and discussed the types of shouts attended by the crew, as well as the distances they cover when called out onboard the Severn class lifeboat the Charles Lidbury.

“It was just a quick yarn with His Royal Highness” added John, “but it’s very important to be represented at events like this to help maintain a high public profile. The RNLI is a charity that relies on public donations to continue its work saving lives at sea - especially during this past year, to weather the financial storm caused by COVID-19.

“This was a first time meeting royalty for me, and it was very enjoyable. We feel honoured to have been invited.”

Prince Charles has a previous association with the Aith Lifeboat, having officially opened its berthing pier on the occasion of the naming of former RNLI vessel Snolda in July 1986.

Note to editors

Aith lifeboat station has been operating for over 80 years, and is the most northerly in the UK.

RNLI/Bob Kerr

RNLI mechanic Robbie Abernethy and Coxswain John Robertson


HRH the Duke of Rothesay at the naming of RNLI Snolda, Aith in 1986


The plaque marking the occasion remains on the Aith Lifeboat pier

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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