Donate now

North Berwick RNLI’s newest helm takes command for consecutive call outs.

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer crew member Fraser Fulton took charge in his first call out as helm on Sunday (5 November) when he responded to an early morning search tasking.

The lifeboat, Evelyn M, launched into the dark shortly after 2am as part of a multi-agency land, sea, and air search for nearly three hours before being stood down to await sunrise. Members of North Berwick, Dunbar and Fisherrow Coastguard Rescue Teams, Police Scotland and a Coastguard Rescue Helicopter were also involved.

The volunteers were again tasked to search the same area, in daylight, launching shortly after 8.46am before being stood down after Police Scotland traced the casualty ashore.

Fraser Fulton, who qualified as a helm at North Berwick RNLI last month said: ‘The RNLI’s training to become a helm is conducted largely on station giving you tools to help command the lifeboat, and volunteer crew in situations like this.’

‘Ten minutes prior to launching the crew were tucked up in their beds, sound asleep. Now they’re searching for a casualty, in the pitch black with single figure air temperatures and a rolling sea. Not only must the helm focus the crew’s output but I also have to navigate the lifeboat safely and ensure information flows between other search and rescue assets.’

‘There's obviously a fair bit of pressure, but I know that my training is second to none and that the RNLI crew here in North Berwick, along with our Coastguard and other emergency service colleagues will work together to get the job done.’

Notes to editors
  • In 2022 RNLI lifeboats from 238 stations across the UK and RoI launched 9,312 times saving 389 lives, RNLI Lifeguards saved a further 117 lives.
  • It cost £1,400 a year to train each crew member in the lifesaving skills they need to answer the call for help
  • 97% of the RNLI’s frontline lifesavers are volunteers including over 5,700 lifeboat crew members.
  • In 2022 it cost the RNLI £188M to run it’s charitable lifesaving service, 6 in 10 of the lifeboat launches were funded be generous supporters leaving the RNLI a gift in their will.
  • Library footage and images of North Berwick RNLI are available on request, please use the contacts below.

RNLI media contacts

Matthew Gibbons, Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer, North Berwick, [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]

24 hour RNLI Central Press Office, 01202 336789 or email [email protected]

Two ILB crew members look towards a white parachute flare which is illuminating an area of water in the dark

RNLI/North Berwick

North Berwick RNLI fire a flare to illuminate a search area

RNLI/North Berwick

North Berwick RNLI train in waves from Storm Babet D Class Evelyn M avoids breaking wave

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.