RNLI recognition for Aith Lifeboat crew
Members of the Aith lifeboat crew have been awarded special recognition for their efforts during a rescue operation that lasted over 20 hours at sea.
In October 2021, the Severn class lifeboat Charles Lidbury – based at the RNLI’s most northerly station in Aith, Shetland – was called out to assist a 26 metre whitefish trawler which had lost power 60 miles west of the isles and was drifting in worsening weather conditions.
The resulting rescue operation – with assistance from other fishing vessels, as well as the Maritime & Coastguard Agency – saw the six fishermen onboard towed safely in to Scalloway harbour through gale force winds and heavy sea swells. The lifeboat crew then had to return to station in Aith, resulting in a 20 hour long operation.
Volunteer crew members that day – Lewis Fraser, Luke Bullough, Nick McCaffrey and Ivor Moffat – have now received special commendations from RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie, alongside station mechanic Robbie Abernethy and coxswain John Robertson.
Mr Dowie has praised the determination and courage shown by the Aith crew, describing their efforts as reflecting the “very best traditions” of the RNLI.
Speaking on behalf of the crew, Aith coxswain John Robertson said:
“Our volunteers turned out in poor conditions to do what they are trained to do in testing sea conditions. This was a lengthy but successful shout – a testament to the skill and tenacity of the Aith crew, and the excellent partnership working at sea. We are all pleased to have our efforts specially recognised by the RNLI, which is a charity very well supported in Aith – and all across Shetland.”
The awards of commendation were presented to crew members over the festive period at the Aith lifeboat station’s annual social evening. Lifeboat crew play darts, cards, pool and table football against the wider community in competition for the ‘Snolda Shield’ – named after a former RNLI lifeboat stationed in the village.
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
For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.
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.
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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