Mearns Probus

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Norman Trewren was the speaker at the latest meeting of the club and his subject was “Aberdeen Lifeboats.”

Having spent many years at sea in the Merchant Navy, from South Africa to the North Sea, he eventually volunteered as a member of the Aberdeen branch of the RNLI, serving eight years as coxswain before retiring to Laurencekirk.

Norman gave a short rėsumė of how the RNLI came into existence, around 1854, although Aberdeen didn’t join until 1925.

Boats used up to then were wooden and crewed by harbour pilots, most of whom lived in Footdee. Indeed, one of the streets in the old village is called Pilot Square.

Over the years there have been various craft but at present the main lifeboat is the “Bon Accord” but this is supplemented by rapid response in shore Rigid Inflatable Boats, better known as RIBs.

This type of rescue boat can also be transported on a trailer by road, to reach their destination much more quickly for in-shore rescues.

Norman gave examples of many of the rescues carried out from Aberdeen Harbour, not only at sea but from the River Dee itself as far up as the Mill Inn at Maryculter when the river was in spate.

To the south of Aberdeen harbour entrance there are many rock structures which have claimed a lot of ships, going aground.

A short video, in black and white, from 1964 showed the crew members of the Aberdeen Lifeboats, many of whom served along with their families for many years.

Nowadays, with the oil and gas industry offshore from Aberdeen, not only ships but unfortunately helicopters and their crews have been rescued by members of the RNLI.

Malcolm McCoig thanked Norman on behalf of the club.