Stonehaven RNLI volunteers will drop everything to answer the call

Abandoning haircuts mid-appointment, house moves, weddings and birthday parties, RNLI lifeboat crews drop everything when the pager goes off.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 7:38 am
Dave Carlton, a volunteer member of the RNLI Stonehaven crew, dropped everything - including his haircut - to answer a mayday call.

Last summer, the Scottish volunteers launched 463 times, aiding 376 people and saving 23 lives, with one third of those launches happening in the hours of darkness.

For some it has meant missing a child’s first birthday party, while others have cut short sporting events.

Whatever the occasion, the pager going off to signal someone is in trouble means interrupting some of life’s major milestones.

But the volunteers are always there – and sometimes that ‘pager moment’ brings a little comedy to the serious task of getting to the lifeboat station.

Mayday is the international distress call for immediate help and therefore an appropriate name for the S pring appeal.

RNLI volunteer crews answer the call – and as you’ll read below in whatever the circumstances – but this Spring they are asking for your help. Will you ‘answer the call’ and help fund the lifesaving work?

Dave Carlton, a volunteer member of the RNLI Stonehaven crew, was sitting down to his very first lockdown haircut when the inevitable happened.

“I hadn’t had a haircut in over three months,” said Dave.

“But the lockdown hair was just getting too much so I decided to get it all shaved off.”

The 51-year-old engineer got one pass of the razor when his pager went off.

“It couldn’t have been timed better and I hotfooted it down to the station.

"And at least I didn’t get there with half of my head shaved…”

Hopefully our pager moment story has given you a bit of a lockdown lift!

If this raised a smile and you want to know how you can help the RNLI and ‘answer the call’ yourself then head to

A mayday call is the most urgent plea RNLI lifesavers receive, and is used when life is in immediate danger.

Usually the lifesavers answer calls for help. But with summer on the way, it's they who need YOUR help.

The RNLI is expecting more families than ever to book holidays in the UK and Ireland this year. People are excited to get away – and that’s how it should be. But it’s so easy to get into trouble by the water. For walkers to get cut off by the tide. For a paddling child to be swept out to sea.

It’s raising funds to keep brave lifesavers kitted and trained to deal with these emergencies – and come home safe themselves.

Will you join in The Mayday Mile and help make sure the memories we make this summer are precious ones?

Walk it. Run it. Skate it. Try it on a treadmill, or pace around the park. Go it alone or join an organised event. Cover a one-mile distance in a way that’s challenging or fun (or both!), and help raise funds for RNLI lifesavers.

You can also visit to donate directly.