All posts by Peter.Nisbet

A Busy Day for St Abbs Lifeboat

We were called out today to search for a missing diver.

The Thomas Tunnock put to sea at approximately 11:50am and joined dive charter boats searching for the missing diver who had become separated from his buddy on the North West side of St Abbs Head.

He was quickly located on a rocky foreshore just west of Petticowick. Two members of our crew swam in to ascertain his condition. He was exhausted and dehydrated but didn’t require medical attention. With a Coastguard shore team standing by if needed, the diver regained enough strength, after a bottle of water and a rest, For our two crewmen to help him walk along the shoreline to Petticowick where he was transferred to the Eyemouth Lifeboat who returned him to St Abbs Harbour.

In the meantime, our remaining crew were busy dealing with a shore-based emergency, after an elderly lady fell on the harbour and sustained a head injury. The Scottish Ambulance Service was called and she received further attention in the lifeboat station from their crew. She has been taken to hospital as a precaution but is expected to be fine.

Another busy day, and a great example of multi-agency teamwork…

St Abbs Lifeboat presented with EBDA Award

We are delighted to announce that St Abbs Lifeboat has been awarded the Eastern Borders Development Association award for 2016.

awardAlistair Crowe accepts the award from Lord Lietenant Jeanna Swan.

“The Eastern Borders Development Association (EBDA) Award is made annually by the Trustees to a person or organisation who or which, through skill or effort, has made an outstanding contribution in social, economic or environmental fields in the past 12 months”

At a special 40th anniversary reception on the 6th March 2017, five members of our committee were presented with the award by the Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire Jeanna Swan, in front of a specially invited audience which included previous award winners, local dignitaries and councillors from both the Scottish Borders  and Northumberland County councils.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our local Councillor Jim Fullarton for our nomination, and also EBDA and its Trustees for awarding us this prestigious prize.

Thomas Tunnock Launches to Assist Trawler

The St Abbs Lifeboat “Thomas Tunnock” was launched this morning (9 Feburary 2017) at 9:15am to go to the assistance of the Eyemouth based trawler “Our Catherine, BRD 77” which was already under tow by the Eyemouth RNLI All Weather Lifeboat.

Derek Anderson’s video of Eyemouth Lifeboat, Our Catherine and the St Abbs Lifeboat “Thomas Tunnock” entering Eyemouth Harbour.

“Our Catherine” had lost drive to her propellor a mile to the south east of Eyemouth Harbour. St Abbs Lifeboat took position astern of the trawler to act as a brake, and all three boats safely entered Eyemouth Harbour.

ey_6 Our Catherine, BRD 77 bearthed in Eyemouth Harbour

St Abbs Lifeboat then returned to the station, was refuelled and made ready for service.


If you see an emergency at sea you should dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.

Thomas Tunnock Launched to Aid Stricken Trawler

The St Abbs Lifeboat “Thomas Tunnock” was launched at approximately 1.30pm on the 6 Feburary 2017 to go to the assistance of the Eyemouth based trawler “Boy Andrew, LH316” which had fouled her propellor.

Boy AndrewBoy Andrew, LH 316 bearthed in Eyemouth Harbour

After fouling her propellor the skipper of the Boy Andrew directly requested the assistance of St Abbs Lifeboat. While the St Abbs Lifeboat is not yet a declared facility, we are able to activiate the paging system locally to shout the crew out to a call.

In deteriorating sea conditions and freshening winds the stricken trawler was taken under tow by fellow Eyemouth based trawler “Our Catherine, BRD 77” with the St Abbs Lifeboat acting as the  brake vessel.

The small flotilla brought the stricken trawler and her crew safely back to her berth  in Eyemouth harbour.

Declared Facility Status 
St Abbs Lifeboat is currently working with H.M. Coastguard to achieve “Declared Facility Status”. This means that we will become an officially recognised part of the UK’s maritime search and rescue emergency services. And we will be tasked by the Coastguard to respond to any call outs in our area.

In this case the skipper of the trawler had contact details for a member of our team.  However if you see an emergency at sea you should dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.

Crew successfully complete ‘First Person On Scene’ training

A big thanks to everyone at Medipro Limited for putting another seven of our crew through their ‘First Person On Scene’ first aid training.16406797_1333369506727105_1899270620188060790_n

We are so proud of the commitment from our volunteer crew….not only do they practice lifeboat exercises twice a week, every week. They have just spent three days away on this residential course.


Visit the MediPro website here:

Thomas Tunnock is officially named

Saturday 17 September 2016 will be a day long remembered in St Abbs. It was the day that we officially named our new lifeboat the “Thomas Tunnock”.

After a lot or hard work and the support of so many the big day was finally here. The weather couldn’t have been better and thousands of you came to see the lifeboat named.


Boyd Tunnock officially named our lifeboat the “Thomas Tunnock”, in honour of his late brother and grandfather. As a small thank you to the Tunnock family we were honoured to present them with a commerative glass plate, kindly created for us by local artist Julia Linstead, with the inscription:

“St Abbs Lifeboat – ‘Thomas Tunnock’. Present to the Tunnock Family by a Grateful Community – 17th September 2017″

Scotland’s First minister also attended the launch and had these kind words to say:

We’d like to thank all our supporters, each of you have contributed into making this special day possible.

Launch Day – 17th September 2016

Our new lifeboat the “Thomas Tunnock” will be officially named and launched on Saturday 17th September 2016 at St Abbs Harbour. We would like to invite you come along and help us celebrate. The event starts at midday and the launch ceremony is at 2:30pm.


To ensure that every penny you have donated is spent on providing a life-saving service, we approached several locally based companies to sponsor our Launch Day event. Our grateful thanks therefore go to the following :

Gold Sponsors

Crosslaw Caravan Park, Coldingham
D.R. Collin & Son, Eyemouth

Silver Sponsors

Greaves West & Ayre – Chartered Accountants, Berwick-upon-Tweed
Tweedmouth Service Station, Berwick-upon-Tweed
Farne Salmon, Duns
McLelland  Stone Masonry, Edinburgh

Bronze Sponsors

Simpsons Malt, Berwick-upon-Tweed
Scoutscroft Holiday Centre, Coldingham
Anchor Inn, Coldingham
Dunbar T-Shirt Shop, Dunbar
EDF Energy, Torness
Greenvale AP, Duns
Howdens, Dunbar

Parking on Launch Day

On launch day access to the village will be restricted, with a one way system in place around the village. Additional car parking will be provided at Northfield farm, with a shuttle bus running between Coldingham, Northfield and St Abbs during the course of the day.


Successful St Abbs Lifeboat Gala Day

GalaWhat a great day we all had yesterday, thank you very much to every who came out to support us… It was by far the busiest Lifeboat Gala Day we’ve ever had!

To get the day to run as smoothly as it did takes a lot of work and a small army of volunteers. So we also need to say a huge thank you to all those who worked so hard in the run-up, and manned all the stalls on the day… you did a great job.

DSC_1412At four o’clock everyone walked down to the harbour to see a  demonstration of our new lifeboat.

Our New Lifeboat Arrives

Last night (28th July 2016) with the whole village out to watch, the new St Abbs lifeboat was delivered to St Abbs.
St Abbs Launch (5)The lifeboat had made its way to St Abbs by road trailer from the builders, Marine Specialized Technology of Liverpool. After being unwrapped, she was eased down the slipway and in to the water with the whole village cheering her on.
St Abbs Launch (3)A crew of Paul Crowe, David Wilson, Graeme Crowe and Keith Hood then took her out for a very quick run around the bay.
St Abbs Prep (2)Over the last few months a lot of hard work has gone into preparing our lifeboat house to accommodate the new lifeboat.  The new lifeboat is both longer and wider than the previous boat so we had to make some modifications to the cradle.
St Abbs Prep (4)We took a lot of measurements and also had a template of the hull profile made to ensure the boat and cradle matched up perfectly. But now was the moment of truth, will she fit?
St Abbs Launch (4)YES she does fit !! We were very pleased to see that the hard work had been successful….she fits on the cradle and goes into the station very neatly.

St Abbs Launch (1)Over the next few months our crew will be trained on how to operate and handle our impressive new lifeboat and all the new equipment. Our new lifeboat has been built to satisfy the “Rescue Boat Code” standard and our crew and committee will liaise closely with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to satisfy their criteria for achieving Declared Facility Status.

Our new lifeboat will be officially named the “Thomas Tunnock” by our major donor Boyd Tunnock on September 17th 2016 in a traditional lifeboat naming ceremony.

Technical details of our new lifeboat:

  • Name: Thomas Tunnock
  • Lifeboat 4Manufacturer: Marine Specialised Technology
  • Model: 900W
  • Crew: 4
  • Length LOA: 9 metres
  • Beam BOA: 3.05 metres
  • Beam internal: 1.95 metres
  • Draught: 0.7 metres or 1 metres to base of skegs at 100% fuel and 4 pax
  • Displacement approx.: 2600kg
  • Maximum speed: 40 kts (to be confirmed)
  • Fual capacity: 2 x 150 litres
  • Range approx.: 150 nautical miles (173 miles or 278 km)
  • Construction: Polyester Glass Reinforced Resin (GPR) construction using GRP protected marine ply under deck structure.
  • Engines: Twin OBM Mercury Optimax 200 HP units modified with PIRS (Post Immersion Restart System)
  • Survivor capacity: 12

If you would like to make a donation to the new St Abbs Lifeboat you can do it now on our Just Giving page