Tuesday night with a difference a couple of weeks ago, but one we were proud to be part of. We were approached early October by Lerwick Lifeboat’s Coxwain to see if we would be willing to assist them with a night-time exercise and of course we were happy to assist. The exercise involved us going out the North exit of the harbour, then East to the Gunnista Holm to allow the Lifeboat to attach a tow line and take us safely back in alongside Mair’s Pier in Lerwick harbour. The lifeboat certainly does an outstanding service for everybody and good to see them out training. It’s exercises like this that helps to develop the crews skills and only too happy to assist with any required exercises with such fine friendly crew. They all do us very proud with their outstanding bravery .
The Lerwick branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has provided four lifeboats over the last 90 years. The first one arrived in July 1930 and was called the Lady Jane and Martha Ryland and now we have the beautiful Michael and Jane Vernon 17-10. The current lifeboat is a 1997 severn-class-all-weather vessel (56 feet) and the most powerful in the RNLI’s fleet, with two “MTU’ engines that produce up to 1600 horsepower, a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 250 nautical miles.
The costs for all 4 lifeboats have been entirely met by donations. The team are grateful to all those in Shetland & elsewhere who have helped funding.
The work the RNLI does is incredible and over the years the coxswain and crew have been decorated for several extraordinary rescue operations, they certainly do us very proud and over the years they have received many well deserved awards for their outstanding bravery. Their service has been recognized with 62 RNLI Gallantry Awards. The most recent being the RNLI gold medal award to Coxswain/Mechanic Hewitt Clark, for the incredible rescue operation that took place off Bressay in November 1997. That day they had to battle through storm force winds and enormous waves to save lives from a ship called the Green Lily – date never to be forgotten here in Shetland.
Last photo taken by Dennis Coutts – a well-known local photographer, which shows you Lerwick’s first lifeboat mentioned in our story above and I am sure you will all agree that our crew members definitely deserve a big shout of many many thanks for all the amazing work they do.
If you’re visiting Shetland, be sure to give @rnlilerwick1710 a donation when passing their HQ in the waterfront’s Tollbooth building, which also has a lovely gift shop. You will also find charity boxes in local shops and we have one onboard Seabird. If you can’t wait, you can donate online via RNLI.org – thank you!