Lord Lieutenant visits Kessock RNLI
On Monday 18 September, RNLI Kessock welcomed a very special visitor to the station, The Lord Lieutenant of Ross and Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh, Mrs Joanie Whiteford, along with Deputy Lieutenant, Mr Angus Watson MBE.
The Lord Lieutenant is the British Monarch's personal representative in the area.
Mrs Whiteford has been an avid supporter of the RNLI and the work they do for many years and was very excited to be able to visit the station on a training night.
Mr Watson is no stranger to the RNLI, and North Kessock specifically, having formed part of the early crew at Kessock before taking on several roles locally and nationally for the charity, over a career spanning some 30 years.
After introductions, the evening took a normal schedule of a briefing from the helm, discussions over exercises, before the boat was launched.
Whilst at sea, The Lord Lieutenant met several members of the station’s operations team, shore crew and tractor drivers. Whilst tractor training was being carried out by trainees, the Lord Lieutenant observed from a safe distance, commenting on how well the training was conducted, and how professionally the trainees undertook the tasks. At this point, the team and visitors moved up the operations room for refreshments until the boat returned from training.
It was a windy and cool evening in North Kessock, but the Lord Lieutenant was keen to observe the boat being recovered and interested to hear about what happens once it’s out of the water.
For our shore crew, the task of cleaning down the boat and equipment, refuelling and ensuring everything is back in its correct place is second nature, but they were all happy to explain what they were doing and why, and share past experiences of late-night call outs, wintery recoveries and stories of lifeboat life and living by the pager.
The Lord Lieutenant had an opportunity to speak to the crew who had been out on training in a slightly warmer boatshed before leaving for the evening as the boat was packed away and made ready for service.
Mrs Joanie Whiteford, Lord-Lieutenant Ross and Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh said:
'What a privilege for me to be amongst such a competent and dedicated group of selfless volunteers, who give up their free time to train and prepare to save lives at sea.
They go out to sea in all weathers when the alarm goes, always thinking of the welfare of others.
I was especially grateful to Lifeboat Operations Manager, Jake, and Deputy Launch Authority, Alan, who took time out of their training schedule to show Deputy Lieutenant, Angus, and I around the station, and the B Class Atlantic 85
Robert and Isobel Mowat lifeboat.
I was so impressed with their procedures for dealing with callouts, crew welfare and equipment maintenance, which ensured not only that their rescues were well practised, but also that the volunteers felt safe, valued and supported. I was truly humbled by the dedication of all these wonderful volunteers'.
Jake Scott, Lifeboat Operations Manager for Kessock said “We were delighted that the Lord Lieutenant joined us and got to see our volunteer crew undertaking training. This was a great opportunity for many station personnel to meet her and chat about their experiences with the RNLI. A great evening all round'.
Notes to editors
Kessock lifeboat station has been operating since 1994. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeboat-stations/kessock-lifeboat-station
RNLI media contacts
Shane Warde, 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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