NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

RNLI tackles Peterhead 'crew issue' with new training plan

Peterhead lifeboat Image copyright Peterhead RNLI

A plan is in place to return a lifeboat station - not being used for rescues because of a "lack of mutual trust" among some volunteers - to duty from as early as next month, the RNLI has said.

The Peterhead lifeboat decision earlier this month had been described as a "last resort".

Lifesaving cover was instead being provided from Fraserburgh and Aberdeen.

The RNLI has now announced a new training programme. The station could return to service by 20 July.

It would be on a temporary basis at first.

The RNLI's initial decision came after failed attempts to recruit more volunteers for the Aberdeenshire town's lifeboat crew, which has been in operation since 1865.

'Sustainable service'

The RNLI said in a fresh statement on Tuesday: "We are very grateful to our volunteer crew in Peterhead for their continued commitment to the RNLI and for the skills they bring to providing a lifesaving service to their community.

"We now have a plan in place to provide all crew with an intensive training schedule delivered by RNLI coxswains, who will support local volunteers in their continued training and development in the coming months.

"This training programme will start in July and will ensure as many crew as possible can add to their existing skills, experience and expertise in order to take the lifeboat to sea. The training programme includes advancing some of the crew through coxswain and mechanic training."

The statement explained: "This will enable our charity to support the volunteer crew in order to get Peterhead lifeboat back on service, securing a sustainable service for the local community.

"In the short term, though, we will aim to provide an intermittent lifeboat service from Peterhead, with on-service periods increasing in frequency as crew training and availability progresses."

The current RNLI boat at Peterhead dates from 2006 and was funded by a donation from the Robertson Trust, a charity with a history of supporting the RNLI and which also paid for station's previous lifeboat.

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