Donate now

Stonehaven RNLI celebrate crew member Suzanne

Lifeboats News Release

Stonehaven RNLI’s shore crew volunteer, Suzanne Lumsden, has achieved one of many firsts recently, including becoming the station’s first female tractor driver.

Suzanne Lumsden sitting in the cab of lifeboat tractor on the slipway at Stonehaven.

RNLI/Anna Carlton

Stonehaven RNLI's first female tractor driver, Suzanne Lumsden

Suzanne has become the first female tractor driver at Stonehaven RNLI, as well as becoming the first volunteer crew member in Scotland to complete the new RNLI Operational Competency Framework.

The new RNLI Operational Competency Framework (OCF) is designed to provide volunteers with clear and structured training framework that can take individuals from joining as shore crew, all the way to becoming helm. Stonehaven RNLI is one of few stations to be piloting the new framework.

Suzanne, an Environmental Consultant whose employer has been incredibly supportive of her volunteer role, joined Stonehaven RNLI in November 2021. Since then, she has worked her way through the shore crew competencies and trained in the RNLI casualty care competencies too.

As a committed and dedicated member of the shore crew, she wanted to be able to do more and decided to begin training to become one of the station’s qualified tractor drivers. Following her training, Suzanne successfully passed out last week becoming Stonehaven RNLI’s first female tractor driver, as well as joining a growing number of qualified female tractor drivers around Scotland’s coastline.

Suzanne was delighted to have passed her tractor driver’s assessment, and feels it is important that women are seen in all volunteer roles within the RNLI. She also stressed that the work the crew do is a team effort, saying: ‘Knowing that other members of the crew are there to ensure the public and vehicles keep a safe distance makes all the difference.’

Andy Martin, Stonehaven Launch Authority Manager, says: ‘Suzanne is a highly valued member of our shore crew. She showed skill and determination during her assessment and was rightly pleased to have been assessed competent. The tractor and trailer unit is large and not particularly easy to manoeuvre, especially in confined spaces, and with lots of people to look out for.

‘Suzanne’s ability to stay focused, calm and get the job done safely in our small, but busy, harbour, is exactly what we need on our crew.’

Notes to editors

· Stonehaven lifeboat station has been open since 2014, although the tradition of lifesaving goes back as far as 1854. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to:

RNLI media contacts

Anna Carlton, Lifeboat Press Officer, [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]

Jaye Mackay, RNLI Media Engagement Placement for Scotland, 07929 673286, [email protected]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

Front view of lifeboat tractor cab with Suzanne sitting inside giving a thumbs up

RNLI/Anna Carlton

Suzanne gives the thumbs up after passing her tractor driver assessment

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.