Closure of historic St Abbs station could result in lost lives at sea warns volunteer
Lives could be put at risk if the RNLI goes ahead and closes a lifeboat station in an historic fishing village, one of its volunteers has said.
Plans are afoot to shut St Abbs station in the Borders after a review of the area’s cover.
Instead it will be served by an inshore lifeboat which will be added to nearby Eyemouth by the end of summer.
The station has been in existence for more than one hundred years.
But following a review, the RNLI says the station at Eyemouth, two miles away, can effectively cover the area with the addition of the new D class lifeboat.
St Abbs station manager Alastair Crowe said the move would cost lives as many divers flocked to the area especially during the summer months.
He said: “We think it will undoubtedly put lives at risk. St Abbs being one of the largest diving areas in Britain, we can’t see a reason for shifting the rescue boat away from this area at all.”
Some lives had been lost over recent years within range of the station he said.
“These are all within 150-200 yards of the station – we have seen the incident and we have still not managed to get to them in time and save them,” he said.
“Time in that situation is really, really important.”
However RNLI operations director George Rawlinson insisted lives would not be put at risk by the move.
“We have looked at the incidents and the potential for problems very carefully indeed.
“Our lifeboats at Eyemouth are very capable and the inshore lifeboat, coupled with an all-weather lifeboat there, will provide a very good service.”
Rawlinson added: "We do have to take a very balanced look at the area and make sure we have got the right assets in the right place
“We have got the right assets in the right place. We haven’t taken this decision lightly at all.”