New coxswain for RNLI Lerwick Lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Stephen Manson has today started as the new full-time coxswain for Lerwick Lifeboat, replacing Darren Harcus who has taken up another coxswain's role within RNLI.


Stephen Manson (left) starts today as the new Coxswain for Lerwick Lifeboat, replacing Darren Harcus, who is now a Resilience Coxswain for the North of Scotland
Twenty-nine-year-old Stephen, from Lerwick, originally trained as a vehicle mechanic and has more recently been employed on workboats in the local salmon industry.

Stephen’s been part of the volunteer crew on Lerwick Lifeboat since October 2018 and he'll now be working full-time at Lerwick Lifeboat Station with responsibilities for crew training and station administration, alongside full-time lifeboat mechanic Ian Harms.

Stephen will undertake further training in the coming months, including boat handling, advanced navigation, and search and rescue planning. When he’s completed his training and qualified as a coxswain, he'll then take command of the lifeboat during future launches.

Darren Harcus has been full-time coxswain at Lerwick Lifeboat since 2018. He’s recently been appointed as a full-time Resilience Coxswain for the North of Scotland, providing relief coxswain cover for RNLI lifeboat stations wherever necessary.

Originally from Westray in Orkney and with a background in the whitefish industry, Darren’s family live in Lerwick, and he’s still a member of the volunteer crew on Lerwick lifeboat when at home in Shetland.

There are also a small number of experienced volunteer crew who are qualified as Deputy Second Coxswains and who can take on the role of Coxswain when required.

Malcolm Craigie, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Lerwick Lifeboat Station, said: “I’m delighted that Stephen and Darren have both been appointed to these full-time roles - they’re both experienced and capable members of our lifeboat crew. We rely on full-time crew members to train and support our volunteer crews and to keep the lifeboat ready for launch 24/7.”

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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