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Peterhead RNLI lifeboat crew receive awards for saving five lives

Lifeboats News Release

On 5 February 2021, Coxswain Pat Davidson, and crew members, Mike Dyke, Jonathan Hutton, Murdo Mackenzie, Martyn Simpson and Craig Aird saved the lives of five fisherman on the Opportunus IV.

Wullie Marr / DC Thomson

The crew with Jill Hepburn who presented the award. Crew L-R, Craig Aird, Murdo MacKenzie, Martyn Simpson, Jill Hepburn, Michael Dyke, Jonathan Hutton and coxswain, Patrick Davidson.

For their efforts, Coxswain, Pat Davidson, received a Chairman’s Letter of Commendation, and crew members, Mike Dyke, Murdo Mackenzie, Martyn Simpson and Craig Aird, received the Lifesaving Operations Director’s Letter of Commendation on March 17 2023.

The casualty vessel, 160-tonne Opportunus IV fishing boat, was caught in difficulty and being pushed towards the rocks, not far from Peterhead Harbour. Peterhead RNLI were tasked and quickly launched around 4.30pm on 5 February, 2021.

This was Pat Davidson’s first shout as Coxswain, and one he will certainly not forget.

Another fishing vessel had attempted to tow the Opportunus away, but its line had broken numerous times due to the stormy conditions. The Coxswain and crew members involved have 73 years’ experience in RNLI rescue operations, but all agreed that this was their ‘most dramatic’ mission.

RNLI crew member, Jonathan Hutton, was requested to throw the towing rope to the casualty vessel. Due to how close the fishing boat was to the rocks, there would not be another opportunity to come round and try again. Thankfully, Jonathan made the throw first time, and the fisherman were able to attach the line to their boat.

With the tow attached, the crew then used all 2,000 horsepower of the Peterhead RNLI lifeboat to avoid hitting the rocks and pull the Opportunus to safety.

On Friday 17 March, members of the RNLI and the local community attended Peterhead RNLI Lifeboat Station to present the crew with their awards, including Jill Hepburn, Head of Region for the RNLI in Scotland, and Joanna Marchioness of Aberdeen, vice Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire.

Pat Davidson, coxswain at Peterhead RNLI, says: ‘We all played a part in saving five lives that day and that is honour enough.’

Jill Hepburn, Head of Region for the RNLI in Scotland, says: ‘This is a moment to pay tribute to the special collective efforts of the whole team and their families who support them. You can inspire the next generation and ensure the RNLI will stay here in Peterhead for another 200 years.’

To keep up to date with Peterhead RNLI, visit their Facebook page:

Notes to editors

· Peterhead lifeboat station has been operating since 1865. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to:

· A video of Pat Davidson being interviewed about the rescue can be viewed at:

RNLI media contacts

Nancy Duncan, 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]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

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.

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.