Investment means improvements for Aith RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

A new pontoon being built alongside the Aith lifeboat pier will improve accessibility to the UK’s most northerly lifeboat, and further enhance the response time of its volunteer crew.

RNLI/Daniel Lawson

MV Brenda begins work at Aith Lifeboat Pier

Preparatory works started earlier this month for the installation of the new 24-metre-long pontoon, which will be fitted to the inside arm of the existing lifeboat pier. It represents a substantial investment from the RNLI in its Aith station, which operates a Severn class lifeboat - the Charles Lidbury.

Aith lifeboat coxswain John Robertson explains: “The new pontoon will act as a floating dock for our lifeboat, moving with the tides to make access to the vessel easier at any time of day or in any weather. It will also save precious time during emergency call outs, when every second can count, by allowing our crew to head straight out to sea with less manoeuvring at pier side.”

“This is a laang lippened and very welcome improvement for the Aith station, which already has an impressive average response time – between pagers alerting crew and the lifeboat leaving the pier.”

The work is being carried out by the Shetland based engineering and fabrication contractor Malakoff, with the pontoon being built in Lerwick and then floated and towed around to Aith later this summer. Meanwhile the company’s 16.2m work barge, MV Brenda, is now onsite in Aith to make the pier there ready for the pontoon’s arrival.

The new berthing pontoon is expected to be in use by October 2022, and the Aith lifeboat remains able to continue providing search and rescue operations in the meantime.

Ends

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: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeboat-stations/aith-lifeboat-station

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

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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 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 142,200 lives.

RNLI/Daniel Lawson

The planned position of the new berthing pontoon

RNLI/Daniel Lawson

Plans for the new berthing pontoon

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.

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