100 people packed into last night's public meeting to hear plans

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has unveiled plans to establish a trial inshore lifeboat station at Stonehaven, near Aberdeen.

The aim is to open the new station, with an Atlantic 85 lifeboat, in July after which the RNLI will
monitor the volunteer commitment and the number and type of incidents

A decision on the long-term future of what would be Scotland’s
47th lifeboat station will be taken at a later date.

The RNLI called a public meeting at short notice yesterday evening in St James’s Church Hall, Stonehaven.

The hall was
overflowing with 100 people listening to the plans outlined by Paul
Jennings, the RNLI’s divisional operations manager for central Scotland.

Afterwards many of those present
expressed their interest in a variety of crew and non-crew roles for
the new station.

Paul said afterwards: ‘We are absolutely delighted with a huge
turnout from people in the Stonehaven area.

‘We need to sift through
their forms as soon as possible and contact them to follow up their

‘However, the RNLI still remains keen to hear from anyone who
could not attend the meeting and they can contact me by email paul_jennings@rnli.org.uk’

The meeting was also attended by representatives from RNLI stations
at Aberdeen and Montrose, the flanking stations for Stonehaven.

The RNLI is seeking a crew complement of five helms, 15 crew, a
mechanic and three plant operators.

The age range for crew is from 17 to
50 years old and they should be able to reach the station within five
minutes of their pager being activated.

There are also vacancies for a Lifeboat Operations Manager, Deputy
Launching Authorities, a Press Officer, a Medical Advisor and a Training

Paul added: ‘We often find that we can have crew available for the
night times because they may work away from a town during the day but
come home at night.

‘The problem we can face is having enough crew
working locally during the day.

‘Offshore workers are also suitable to become crew because when they
have their time off and spend a couple of weeks at home they are then
ideally placed to man the lifeboat.’

There is a davit available at Stonehaven harbour for launching a
lifeboat but the RNLI has not yet decided on the best place for a
station building with crew changing facilities.

The RNLI has had a lifeboat station at Stonehaven on two previous
occasions. More recently the Maritime Rescue Institute charity operated a
lifesaving service, but the charity ceased after storms damaged their

(Picture: Stonehaven harbour. Credit- RNLI: Richard Smith)