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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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St Abbs RNLI lifeboat station to close

This news post is almost 9 years old

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.”



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almost 9 years ago
another station closure? and probably more to follow, Mr Rawlinson is Ex Navy, look what happened to the Navy??? I thought that the RNLI belonged to the people of the UK, not a few FAT CATs in Poole, at ground level stations and crew morale is at an all time low, a great institution that has now outgrown itself, and is now more a business than a charity and I have been involved for 20 plus years so I speak from experience, BACK TO BASISCS!!!! and get rid of the Navy antics and input, we are BLOODY Volunteers!!, if only the publice were aware beyong the fascade!!!!
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Douglas J A Roxburgh. MBE
almost 9 years ago
I agree entirely with you Andy, out sourcing to incomers with'professional' experience, views and opinions seems to be the preferred choice and way forward these days. Core principles and convictions should not be compromised by people who are assumed to know better than those operating at the interface with the real knowledge and experience. I have no problem with improvements being made to enhance service provision, but this is a fatality waiting to happen on the RNLI's doorstep.
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Paul Bury
over 8 years ago
On Saturday 30 May at 18:45, a diver almost lost her life in waters by Cathedral Rock, less than 100m from St Abbs Lifeboat Station. The St Abbs lifeboat was immediately launched and another rescue was successfully completed within minutes. I was there and witnessed the near-death experience as oxygen was administered and the casualty started breathing again.. Had the station been closed (as planned) and the casualty had had to wait for a lifeboat to come from the next nearest RNLI Station 2.5 miles away, I am in no doubt that any delay would have resulted in a different and tragic outcome. Please show your support to oppose this closure by signing our petition at Thanks
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