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The Original Wildlife Boat Trip around Bressay & Noss, Shetland Islands
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Assisting Lerwick Lifeboat With Exercise Training

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!


With our experienced Captain, Brian, and knowledgeable naturalist Marie, enjoyed breathtaking views of the Noss cliffs, seabird colonies, the coastline, and seals with the bonus of learning some local history and snagging some very special underwater views. On a cool and windy day on the water, the coffee/tea and biscuits served were a nice touch as well. Can't imagine a better way to see the area and wildlife - or better folks to guide us. The boat was comfortable and provided some protection from the elements as well!!

Diane W

So I was visiting my friends in Lerwick and I had a few hours to spend so inspotted the seabird and seals boat, I approached Brian (owner) and asked if there was room for 1 more and there was. I was told to be at the pier for 2pm, I was and we set sail around 2.15pm, we had a safety brief from Marie and it was very clear but also relaxed. First stop was out to a shipwreck where they anchored and put down an underwater camera so we could see the sea life and the wreck, it was really amazing and you could all see clearly on the two television screens. We then proceeded to see the seals then out towards Noss, I don't want to spoil the trip for anyone but it was fantastic and the best £45 I have spent in a while, included were tea & biscuits as well, we were away from 3 and half hours, great company, great boat and overall fantastic experience, well done to you both.


We were so, so lucky...We started slowly with a fascinating camera exploring the sea life around an old wreck. Then we got serious, out into open water and the spectacularly rugged coasts of the islands of Bressay and Noss...The cliffs of Noss were one of the greatest natural sights I've ever experienced. With the sea hammering us and the captain keeping us steady maybe four feet from the rocks, we were at the base of 592-feet-high cliffs, with 25,000 birds above us, sitting/nesting on every speck of ledge, many diving beak-first at high speed to spear fish, the noise of the birds overwhelming. At one point I wondered what would happen if one bird noticed us and mused, "Fancy a change from fish today?" We were probably there half an hour, and it's a half hour that will live in our memories a long time. Lots still to see after that, including backing up into a cavern in a cliff, and anchoring in a cove for tea, coffee, and biscuits. What an incredible tour!

Nick M

This tour was arranged by our cruise ship and it's a must do for anyone visiting Lerwick in Shetland Islands. We saw such beautiful birds and the two owners were so knowledgeable and friendly. Also rock formations and caves were beautiful. Loved the gingerbread cookies and coffee. Also the views from underwater camera were great!


A belated review from a visit to Shetland in May this year - we had an amazing trip with Brian and Marie round the cliffs of Noss and Bressay. They were both extremely knowledgeable and friendly, seemed to know everything about the wildlife we encountered on the tour, plenty of new things to discover even for someone who grew up in Shetland. we saw grey seals, gannets, great skuas and shags, we couldn't believe how many birds were nesting around the cliffs! The weather was nice enough for Brian to bring the boat right into the Orkneyman's Cave, as well as sending down the ROV to a small wreck at the North mooth of the harbour. would definitely consider taking the trip again, and recommend to both visitors and islanders alike.

Hanson & Louise

Enjoy the best things to do in Lerwick with a plan including Seabirds-and-Seals