RNLI top brass praise Campbeltown lifeboat station

The Coast Review committee are from left: Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Professor Charles Deakin, Fiona Fell, Angus Watson, Rear Admiral Roger Lockwood, George Rawlinson, Sarah Gosling and Paul Daly. 25_c26rnli01_coast_review

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RNLI’s Coast Review group, including Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, said: ‘Campbeltown lifeboat station is in great shape for the future.’

Operations director George Rawlinson spoke exclusively to the Courier following Tuesday evening’s meeting with Campbeltown staff, volunteers and representatives from Her Majesty’s Coastguard.

Mr Rawlinson said the five yearly Coast Review, held from Monday to Thursday this week, started in Oban before moving to Islay, Campbeltown, Tighnabruich and Arran.

Mr Rawlinson said: ‘This week the review is looking at whether RNLI has the right lifeboats in the right places to meet the search and rescue requirements.

‘If we do make any changes to the lifeboat cover this is part of the decision making process and is an operation to gather views direct from the stations.

‘In the past five years lifeboats in this area have rescued more than 700 people from danger at sea.’

Mr Rawlinson specifically praised the crew’s response during the Nancy Glen tragedy earlier this year.

He said: ‘We are always keen to say that part of our visit is to recognise the crew’s voluntary work and dedication to rescue.’

In addition he said the inshore D class lifeboat has been busier in recent years. He recognised it as a valuable asset to providing cover by road to Machrihanish.

Mr Rawlinson added: ‘We make a point of not just concentrating on the operational part of the station but also the fundraising and shop effort.

‘It is clear Campbeltown lifeboat station is very well supported by the local community and generates valuable funds for the RNLI, which is greatly appreciated.’

Other members of the inspection group are: engineering and asset management director Angus Watson, operations committee member Fiona Fell, medical and survival committee chairman Professor Charles Deakin, operations committee member, double Olympic gold sailor Sarah Gosling, area lifesaving manager Paul Daly and Rear Admiral Roger Lockwood, a trustee and chairman of the RNLI Scottish council.

Mr Rawlinson added: ‘At the end of the review we discuss everything we have seen and representations that have been made.’

Following the meeting the review committee dined at the Royal Hotel.

The inspection marked the start of a busy week for Campbeltown’s lifeboat station. Tomorrow Campbeltown RNLI holds its gala day from 10am to 4pm.

The parade starts at 12pm and with 14 rafts entered in the inner harbour race the first heat is at approximately 12.45pm. In addition there will be stalls, escorted trips round the lifeboat and station and a Coastguard helicopter.