All posts by Peter.Nisbet

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

St-Abbs-Lifeboat-Donation

Our new Lifeboat is being built

Thanks to the success of our Support St Abbs Lifeboat campaign, on 24th March 2016 we were able to announce that we have ordered our new lifeboat.

Lifeboat 2A rendering of our new lifeboat.

We’ve ordered a 900W Rigid Inflatable Boat from MST (Marine Specialised Technology Ltd) based in Liverpool. MST is the world’s leading provider of Rigid Inflatable and High Speed Workboats for military and professional use. They also build the RNLI’s E-Class Lifeboats.

“This is an ideal boat for the rescue work we are involved in at St Abbs and will increase the Search and Rescue capabilities along the Berwickshire Coast. We look forward to St Abbs coming back on station as an accredited SAR service…. The fundraising and hard work to achieve this continues on all fronts. Once we are in a position to do so, we will announce plans for delivery and launching of the service based around our traditional lifeboat day at the end of July.” – Alistair Crowe, Chairman of the St Abbs Lifeboat.

A lot of hard work went into selecting the right boat for the new St Abbs Lifeboat station. Back in January a small team visited MST, toured the factory and then took a run out on the Mersey in a demonstration craft. Our coxswains were very impressed with the performance and handling of the craft.

MST DemoOur Coxswain Paul Crowe takes the 900W demo craft out on the Mersey.

The make and model (MST 900W) of lifeboat we have ordered is also operated by Maryport Inshore Rescue Service (www.maryportrescue.co.uk). Back in January 2016 our fellow lifeboatmen in Maryport kindly showed a small group of us around their boat and station.

MaryportThe “E-ON Spirit of Maryport” operated by the Maryport Inshore Rescue Services.

Lifeboat 4Technical details of the new lifeboat:

  • Name: Thomas Tunnock
  • Manufacturer: 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

St-Abbs-Lifeboat-Donation

St Abbs – A Community with One Goal

We’d like to share the words of our crewman Graham Slack.

harbour028The first time that I visited St Abbs was on a family holiday in 1969 with my parents and my younger sister, I was 5 years old at the time and we stayed in a cottage called “Bell View” overlooking the harbour for two weeks. I can remember sitting on the bench outside our house and watching the boats return to the harbour. I used to run down the steps and meet them to see what they had caught and sometimes if I was really lucky they would let me have the sea urchins that they picked off their creels. My sister and I used to clean all the spikes off them and bleach the shells in a bucket, so that we could take them back home with us. We all loved St Abbs and made it our holiday destination for many years to come…

I also remember the Lifeboat, in those days the boat in service was called the Jane Hay, a large solid bodied boat nothing like the fast ribs of today. She was painted in the traditional navy blue and white colours with large ropes hanging down from the gunwales. I remember that she always looked pristine; she was kept in perfect condition, as bright and shiny as if she had just come from the boat yard that built her. When she was launched it wasn’t the slow steady controlled process of today, being delivered to the water in a secure cradle, the Jane Hay raced down the slip and burst onto the water sending up huge waves of spray.

 Jane Hay
Launching the Jane Hay.

There wasn’t a paging system like we have today either, instead; a rocket was launched, it was so loud that I think everybody in the village could hear it, the result of this was that many of the villagers would scurry down to the harbour to watch the boat being launched. I can remember this vividly; at my young age it was so exciting to watch the fisherman that I had been talking to in the morning, racing back down to the boat shed to man the lifeboat.

Jane Hay
The Jane Hay.

All that was 45 years ago and the majority of those old crewmen are sadly no longer with us, neither are the members of my family that held my hand as we watched the Jane Hay take to the water. At times like this I quite often wonder what these people would have thought about our current situation.

Personally I have always believed that no matter how dark the cloud, there is always a silver lining and although we could be forgiven for seeing the closure of our station as the end of an era, it is also an incredible opportunity for us to take the initiative and build something far better than we had before and that is exactly what we are doing. We have all the right people in all the right places, the fund raising is going well, committees have been established, merchandise is selling we have a great web site and lots of events being arranged for the future.

stream_imgCommunity forged together.

It would seem that our community has been forged together with one overwhelming objective, all the doubt and uncertainty that loomed over our heads when the RNLI announced their plans in May has been lifted from us and now we are all looking to the future with new plans new ideas and a new determination that can only come from having nothing left to lose.

Old Crew Keeping 104 years of tradition alive.

I am sure that the old crewmen of the St Abbs lifeboats and their families, who gave tirelessly towards the 104 years of service to their community, would be very proud of what we are doing today and see it as being the only way forward. So would my old granny, who held my hand all those years ago as we watched the Jane Hay explode in to life as she raced down the slip. If she was here with us today she would do what she always did, she would wander up to the post office in the morning, buy a quarter of mints in a brown paper bag from the big jars on the shelves behind the counter and give me her loose change to put in the lifeboat collection box, she would never have known that one day I would end up living here, or that I would become a crew member myself, but I think that she would be happy.

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

St-Abbs-Lifeboat-Donation

Support St Abbs Lifeboat by buying a T-Shirt, Sweatshirt or Hoodie

You can purchase one of our “Support St Abbs Lifeboat” T-shirts, Sweatshirts or Hoodies and wear it to show your support for the St Abbs Lifeboat.

T-Shirts

The “Support St Abbs Lifeboat” T-Shirts cost £10 each (with £3.60 of this going towards the campaign fund) and are avaliable in the following sizes:

Support St Abbs Lifeboat T-Shirts

Kids’ sizes: (in age groups) 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-11, 12-13
Men’s sizes: (Straight cut) S, M, L, XL, XXL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL.
Ladies’ size: (Scoop neck), 8, 10, 12, 14, 16. (Ladies sizes are designed to be worn tight.)

Sweatshirts and Hoodies

Sweatshirts and Hoodies are also avaliable. With sweatshirts costing £20 and hoodies £35.

Buy a T-Shirt, Sweatshirt or Hoodie and Wear it with Pride
Support St Abbs Lifeboat T-Shirts

You can get your T-shirt, Sweatshirt, or Hoodie by:

  • Ordering and Collecting from St Abbs  –  Placing an order at either the St Abbs Visitor Centre or at Rock House Dive Centre (To order please call Rachel Crowe on 07823 449 100). When your t-shirt, sweatshirt or hoodie is ready you will need to collect it in person.
  • Order Online (includes cost of delivery) – Thanks to Dunbar T-Shirt Shop you can now buy your t-shirt, sweatshirt or hoodie online. All prices include delivery.  Click Here to order your T-shirt online.

Finally a special thanks to everyone at the Dunbar T-Shirt Shop. Steven, Gavin, Natalie and Margaret have been a fantastic support to the St Abbs Lifeboat.

Scotland’s First Minister Visits St Abbs Lifeboat Station

Members of St Abbs Lifeboat were very pleased to welcome an unexpected guest this afternoon (26th April 2016).

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, was in the area and dropped in for a coffee and a chat. She knew all about our story and has been very impressed with the community spirit and our fundraising efforts to put a lifeboat back in our little village where it belongs.

She is now the proud owner of her own St Abbs Lifeboat hoodie which was very welcome considering the biting wind today.

We’d like to thank the First Minister for her visit and also our local MSPs and MP. Regardless of their political persuasion their support for St Abbs Lifeboat has been fantastic. The early day motion was raised in the House of Commons by our local MP Calum Kerr (SNP) and our local MSPs John Lamont (Conservative) and Paul Wheelhouse (SNP) are great supporters of the St Abbs Lifeboat.

 

 

Tunnocks Supporting a new St Abbs Lifeboat

St Abbs Lifeboat is delighted to announce that an approach has been received from leading Scottish Company Thomas Tunnock & Sons Ltd. “Tunnocks” involving a new Lifeboat at St Abbs Berwickshire.

It is expected that this will lead to the completion of Stage 1 of the Appeal launched in early Autumn 2015 and enable the resumption of Lifeboat operations at St Abbs in 2016.

The public appeal for a new Lifeboat at St Abbs has already got off to a flying start and the campaign will remain in full swing with a Stage 2 objective of raising a further £250k to provide long term financial support for the St Abbs lifeboat station.

In announcing the approach from Tunnocks Alistair Crowe the Lifeboat Appeal Chairman said:

“This is a highly significant development and the emergence of Tunnocks as a major donor has unanimous support from the Community of St Abbs. On behalf of the St Abbs Community I would like to express my sincere gratitude not only to Tunnocks, but also to all our other donations both big and small.

We look forward to becoming an operational Lifeboat Station at St Abbs again as soon as arrangements can be put in place, which will include a new purpose built boat. There are details still to be agreed with Tunnocks, which will include the name of the new Lifeboat, and a further announcement will be made in due course.”

Over £60,000 has been raised – we’re making real progress

With your help and support over £60,000 has been raised since the start of our fundraising campaign.

[thermometer raised=63000 target=250000 height=300 align=right]

We have set up the committees needed to run the new St Abbs Lifeboat. We are working towards setting up “St Abbs Lifeboat” as a new independent charity and are currently operating as a project of the St Abbs Community Trust charity.

We are about to launch our new online shop and are working towards having a mobile shop up and running for next summer. We’ve created a range of Christmas Cards and other branded merchandise which we’ve been selling on a stall at the weekly Friday market in the Ebba Centre and Dunbar T-shirt shop has helped us create a range of “Support St Abbs Lifeboat” clothing.


WP_20151013_002The collection boxes arrive in the post.

We are in the process of placing over 75 collection boxes in local pubs, shops and other establishments. The cheeky calendar created by the St Abbs Market Traders is selling well after appearing in the national press. We held a very successful coffee morning and a darts competition and will be holding a Race Night on 20th November at 8pm in the Ebba Centre, St Abbs.

BSACEuan Gibson takes the main stage at the BSAC Conference.

After a very successful appearance on the main stage at the BSAC conference we will be attending the ScotSAC conference in Stirling next weekend.

We have received over £13,000 via our Just Giving site. Robin Hood Dive Club have held several successful events (thank you). We are receiving cheques from you nearly every day and poignantly we’ve been gifted money in people’s wills.

With your support we are making this happen… There will be a lifeboat back in St Abbs soon. If you’ve donated 20p or £25,000, bought a t-shirt, attended an event or helped out in any other way we’d like to thank you. Every penny has helped bring the day a lifeboat is based back in St Abbs closer.

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

St-Abbs-Lifeboat-Donation

Robin Hood Dive Club – Hold a Car Boot sale and raise £320

We like to say a big thank you to the Robin Hood Dive Club for holding a car boot sale in aid of the St Abbs Lifeboat. Their hard work raised £320 which will help to fund the new St Abbs Lifeboat.

Pirate Support
Robin Hood Dive Club have been fantastic supporters of our campaing to Save St Abbs Lifeboat right from the very start.

Thank you so much for your support, it means such a lot to the whole team.

http://robinhooddiveclub.com/2015/10/18/charity-weekend/

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

St-Abbs-Lifeboat-Donation
 

Calendar On Sale Now – helping our crew get their kit back on

The St Abbs market traders have come together with the crew of the St Abbs Lifeboat to create a cheeky charity calendar for 2016.

Front CoverThe photographs were taken back in March 2015 before the RNLI announced their decision to close the St Abbs RNLI lifeboat station.

Crew Bare All
Now that the community has decided to setup a new St Abbs Lifeboat independent of the RNLI. The St Abbs Market Traders are pleased to announce that they’ll be donating all the money raised from the sale of the calendar to the new St Abbs Lifeboat.

“We hope you like the “cheeky” views of St. Abbs and please bear in mind that a lot of the pictures were taken in March so it wasn’t as warm as it may look!” – Sue Dewhurst, Model.

How to get a hold of your copy

The calendar is on sale at £7.50 in the following locations:

  • Rock House, St. Abbs
  • St Abbs Post Office
  • Waddell’s fishmonger, Eyemouth
  • O’Brien Imaging, Eyemouth
  • Cafe Questo, Eyemouth
  • At the St Abbs Market, held every friday at the Ebba Centre, St Abbs.

You can order the calendar while stocks last from our online shop. Click Here to Buy a Calendar.

We like to thank all the traders at St Abbs Market for their support.

You can find out more about the Weekly St Abbs Friday Market here: http://www.st-abbs-market.com/

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

St-Abbs-Lifeboat-Donation