Sent in by John Kinsman, operations manager at Coastwatch St Monans, east Fife. Featured image shows the old windmill at St Monans, where the coastwatch station is based. Credit J Kinsman.
Fundraisers fight for £2.5m lifeboat promised
RNLI fundraisers say they will fight any prospect of Arbroath losing out on the state of the art £2.5m lifeboat the Angus station was promised eight years ago. It follows news the RNLI plans to remove the all-weather lifeboat from either Arbroath or Broughty Ferry. Charity chiefs are undertaking a lifesaving review of both stations. Their all-weather craft are due for replacement within next few years.
The organisation plans to cover Arbroath and Broughty Ferry with a jet propelled Shannon class and Atlantic 85 rigid inflatable inshore rescue boat. A decision on which station to have each boat is due next year. But an Arbroath guild source says it will fight any attempt by the RNLI to backtrack on the commitment of a Shannon class for the town. And the group is angry the two stations are being pitched against each other over the same issue.
Arbroath is one of Scotland oldest lifeboat stations and the last with a slipway. The guild has raised huge sums of money to support the RNLI. “It beggars belief that they would consider putting an open rib like an Atlantic 85 at Arbroath” said a source. “It’s a very capable boat don’t get me wrong but not in a force 9 gale on the open North Sea. No-one connected with Arbroath would want to see our crew out in an open boat in some of the situations they face.”
The RNLI says data shows the lifesaving capability will be enhanced. Broughty is regularly one of Scotland’s busiest station each year. “The insight and contribution from both lifeboat stations is imperative in helping the RNLI reach a collaborative decision on the current lifeboat configuration for this stretch of water,” said a spokesman.
But the guild source added, “It’s all very well to have data and statistics but the most important thing here is the safety of the crew. In 2014 we were told we had been granted a Shannon. It would be a few years before it arrived but it was good news for Arbroath. And in 2018 we got the same assurance. The all-weather lifeboats here and at Broughty Ferry were both due for replacement. Whatever way both of the stations will end up without an all-weather lifeboat. It’s to do with money and politics and the decision may already have been made. The Tayside stations of Montrose and Arbroath and Broughty Ferry work very closely together. Putting these two stations against each other is not right and we are not going to take it lying down.”
Busy Fife harbours
All four east neuk of Fife harbours have been busy with seafarers lifting their craft from the water as the summer sailing season comes to an end. AT Elie harbour a huge crane was situated on the main pier to the amazement of locals and visitors alike as local yachtsmen and other seafarers prepared their craft for lifting. Then the huge crane began lifting the crafts from the water and placing them on the harbour main pier for winter storage.
At St Monans harbour a huge crane also lifted out the local craft and placed them on the middle pier for winter storage. At Anstruther and Crail harbour a similar events took place. Coastwatch St Monans team were there to provide safety cover.
While on duty at the lookout station Coastwatch St Monans crew were given a fantastic display by two large pods of dolphins.
The dolphins were heading east and were about 400 yards off shore. They stayed in the area for about 10 minutes before heading off east towards the May island. The sighting drew a lot of attention from walkers on the coastal path and the Coastwatch St Monans team. In all, a wonderful sight.
On Saturday 22nd of October Aberdeen coastguard notified Coastwatch St Monans that a large group of kayakers had left Anstruther harbour for a trip down the coast to Elie harbour. Aberdeen coastguard were concerned for their safety as the weather conditions in the area was thick fog, and rain. Aberdeen Coastguard requested Coastwatch St Monans to keep a sharp eye out for the group.
Sometime later the group were spotted below the Coastwatch St Monans lookout heading for St Monans harbour and Aberdeen coastguard were notified.
On arrival at St Monans harbour the group were advised that the weather conditions were getting worse and were advised to cancel their trip to Elie. This was agreed by the group, and Aberdeen coastguard were notified. The group then made their way back to Anstruther by their own transport.
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