Queensferry RNLI Helmsman, Iain Leil, hangs up his drysuit for the last time

Lifeboats News Release

Queensferry RNLI’s longest serving Helmsman is retiring after 31 years of service.

Iain with some of his fellow crew after his final training exercise, the 'Jimmie Cairncross' Lifeboat in the background


Iain with some of his fellow crew after his final training exercise

Iain signed up on February 15 1992 as a boat crew member at Queensferry RNLI, and is now historically the station's longest serving Helm. When not on the boat, he was also one of the station's tractor drivers.

Earlier this year, Iain was recognised by the RNLI with the award of a long service medal.

Iain’s final shout was to the aid of 4 persons knee high in water, who were rescued off the Cramond causeway.

On completing his final training exercise and final seat on the Queensferry Lifeboat, Iain says ‘So I have just completed my last afloat exercise with the lifeboat and now pass it on to the young team, I've given them all I can and now it's all theirs.’

Lifeboat Operations Manager Davie Smart says ‘Iain came from a family of RNLI volunteers. His mother Mabel was a long-term stalwart of the lifeboat shop. Brother David also served as a lifeboat crew member. Polly, Iain’s wife, has been by his side for every shout, and we thank her for the endless patience and understanding for all these years.’

Iain was a hard-working crew member of this station. This marks the end of an era for the Leil dynasty.


Notes to editors

· The RNLI is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

· The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea.

· Queensferry RNLI is based at Hawes Pier, South Queensferry, EH30 9TB. The lifeboat station was founded in 1967 and the volunteer crew use an inshore Atlantic 85 B class lifeboat Jimmie Cairncross.

· To learn more about the lifeboat station visit; https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeboat-stations/queensferry-lifeboat-station

Photo Credits

Photo 1 Iain, with some of his fellow crew, after his final training exercise

Photo 2 Iain at the helm, with the Forth Rail Bridge in the background

Photo 3 Iain Leil, the early days.

All photos should be credited RNLI/ Queensferry.

RNLI Media Contacts

Julie Dominguez, Lifeboat Press Officer, Queensferry Lifeboat Station, julie_dominguez@rnli.org.uk

Adele Allan, Lifeboat Press Officer, Queensferry Lifeboat Station, [email protected]

Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07826 900639, [email protected]

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

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

Iain at the helm, with the Forth Rail Bridge in the background


Iain at the helm, with the Forth Rail Bridge in the background
Iain Leil, the early days, sat posed


Iain Leil, the early days

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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