Stonehaven RNLI’s Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) was called on Sunday to its second shout since the station began a trial earlier this year.
Volunteers helped five fishermen in trouble on November 24, a few days after the RNLI had submitted plans to Aberdeenshire Council for a crew changing building on land close to the town’s harbour.
The RNLI has a lifeboat, a crew of more than 15 people including two women, but it still requires crew changing facilities and a boat house for the lifeboat, tractor and trailer in Stonehaven.
Stonehaven is registered as the RNLI’s 47th lifeboat station in Scotland. It is not yet a declared Search and Rescue asset, however there have now been two occasions when the volunteer crew, on an exercise, have been asked to put their training to good use and help other boat users in distress.
Richard Smith, the RNLI’s spokesman in Scotland, said, ‘The charity is delighted with the enthusiasm and commitment shown by the volunteers on the crew and they were quick to put all their training into action when a fishing boat was in trouble.
‘The charity is also benefiting from all the support shown by those involved behind the scenes with the lifeboat, the shore and management crews, and the fundraisers.
‘It is unfortunate the charity has not been able to move as quickly as it would like in setting up the necessary infrastructure for the trial station.
‘The lifeboat is stored in the Sea Cadets building, and we are very grateful to them for their help. But we do require longer-term premises and we are still searching for a suitable building around the harbour.
‘Once we have everything in place we can be operational very quickly. In the meantime the RNLI will continue to invest time and money in Stonehaven.’
On Sunday the volunteer crew were returning in the lifeboat from a training exercise around the coastline at Findon, when they were contacted by Aberdeen Coastguard at about 9.38am.
The Coastguard had received a 999 call, via mobile phone, from a fishing vessel that had encountered fuel problems and was therefore disabled and drifting about half a mile from Stonehaven harbour.
The ILB immediately responded and headed south towards the stricken vessel, which was an eight metre sea-angling boat, carrying five people in total, on board. They were alongside within minutes of receiving the call and towed the vessel safely back into Stonehaven harbour, arriving at 10.10am.
The RNLI volunteers had started their exercise at 8am and after helping the fishermen, the RNLI had a crew change and continued with their exercise at 10.25am.