NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

RNLI considering lifeboat station for Stonehaven

Image caption The RNLI said the Stonehaven plans were still at an early stage

The RNLI is considering opening a lifeboat station in Stonehaven, BBC Scotland has learned.

The charity is carrying out a feasibility study into basing an inshore lifeboat at the Aberdeenshire town's harbour.

Stonehaven's Maritime Rescue Institute (MRI) had provided cover but is due to close.

RNLI trustees will meet in April to decide whether or not to open a station in Stonehaven.

Richard Smith, the RNLI's spokesman in Scotland, told BBC Scotland: "The RNLI is currently carrying out a feasibility study to assess what is needed in the Stonehaven area after the departure of the MRI.

"We need to stress we are still at a very early stage."

The MRI is being forced to close its doors after failing to recover from storm damage, the charity said last month.

The institute said it was left without any boats in the water after its base at the harbour was deluged in last December's storm.

The charity said it had already been struggling with falling donations.

Its board decided there was no other option but to close down.

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