Stonehaven has recently welcomed a brand-new lifeboat to the station, the Atlantic 85 (B-Class). This has replaced ‘Miss Betty’, the stations previous Atlantic 75 (B-Class) lifeboat, which was the last of its kind to operate within Scotland with the RNLI.
The stations new, bigger lifeboat measures in at 8.5 metres. The boats length is represented by the ‘85’ within its titlewhile the ‘Atlantic’ refers to the place where this type of rigid inflatable lifeboat (RIB) was first created (The Atlantic College in Wales).
Like ‘Miss Betty’, the Atlantic 85 is an inshore lifeboat designed to operate close to the shore and it is therefore very well equipped to operate near the rugged cliffs, rocks and caves that the coastline off Stonehaven offers. Additionally, the new lifeboats increased size brings with it an increase incapabilities. The Atlantic 85 is not only capable of carrying a larger crew than its predecessor and of operating within rougher seas, it also comes equipped with advanced navigation and communication technology which can greatly aid the lifeboats search and rescue missions.
The tradition of lifesaving has been prominent in Stonehaven since 1854 and over the years there have been a variety of both RNLI and independent lifeboats operating from within the town. Stonehaven’s current RNLI lifeboat station has been open since 2013 and our lifeboat and crew have responded to a wide variety of ‘shouts’ over the years. Our dedicated teamhave responded to swimmers, jet skis and boats in trouble as well as the occasional furry friend!
Stonehaven lifeboat station has a volunteer crew consisting of approximately 30 members ranging from dentists, doctors, teachers, engineers and police. This is a close-knit team who train together weekly to ensure that they are ready to respond to any scenarios that may come their way.
Crew Roles and Responsibilities
Crew members carry out a diverse range of duties at the lifeboat station, with some serving multiple roles. Regardless of the roles and responsibilities undertaken by each individual, all crew members work together as a team, recognising and respecting each other’s role as integral to the safe and efficient operation of the lifeboat.
The roles include:-
Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) – A key role at the station, the LOM is responsible for managing all operational activities, authorising the launch of the lifeboat and the day-to-day management of the station.
Helm – These individuals are appointed to take command of search and rescue (SAR) units when at sea. It is their duty to use their utmost effort to safeguard and rescue the lives of those in danger, while having regard for the safety of their own crew.
Deputy Launch Authority (DLA) – The DLA deputises for the LOM when the LOM is unavailable.
Mechanic – The Mechanic is responsible for the lifeboat engines and equipment whenever the SAR unit is at sea. They have a detailed programme of planned maintenance ensuring the lifeboats, equipment, plant and vehicles are always ready for service in first-class condition.
Lifeboat Training Coordinator (LTC) – The role of the LTC is to ensure that the Operations Team at the station areaware of the training requirements involved in fulfilling their role. The LTC works closely with the LOM, Helm and Head Launcher in order to support and promote training at the station, arrange assessments and maintain the accuracy of crew training records.
Lifeboat Press Officer (LPO) – The LPO ensures apositive relationship is maintained between the lifeboat station, local press, radio and TV. They also help to raise public awareness of the RNLI.
Head Launcher – In charge of the launch and recovery of the SAR unit.
Boat Crew – These are the volunteers who crew the search and rescue (SAR) unit when at sea. Boat crew also carry out many of the same duties as Shore Crew.
Shore Crew – These are the volunteers who assist in the launch and recovery of the SAR unit, working directly around the lifeboat and launch vehicle. Their duties involvehandling the various strops and lines, ensuring no unauthorised persons enter the restriction zone around the SAR unit and launch vehicle when in operation. They will direct traffic and pedestrians to ensure the safety of RNLI personnel and the general public.