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.
We’d like to thank the British Sub Aqua Club and its member for getting behind the campaign to Save St Abbs Lifeboat. Today the Chairman of BSAC, Eugene Farrell, visited St Abbs and talked with the crew, divers and local people.
Eugene Farrell meets with member our crew
“It is clear to us now that while we will continue to try to work with the RNLI to ensure there is sufficient provision in the area, for our members one less lifeboat station around St Abbs is simply not acceptable.
“I have been to visit the St Abbs Lifeboat Station today to see the facilities and have spoken to divers, lifeboat crew and local people myself to hear their concerns.
“Every minute counts when a diver or other sea-user is in trouble. We must now directly represent our members’ concerns and call for the St Abbs Lifeboat Station to remain open and to provide what is to many, an essential and potentially life-saving service in an area that is very busy in diving terms.” – BSAC Chairman Eugene Farrell
The British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) is the UK’s leading dive club and the sport’s National Governing Body in the UK. Its support adds more weight to our call for the proposed closure of St Abbs lifeboat station to be overturned.
Our local MP Calum Kerr has rasied an Early Day Motion proposing a debate within the House of Commons on the proposed closure of the St Abbs Lifeboat Station.
“That this House supports the campaign to save the St Abbs lifeboat in Berwickshire from closure; notes that St Abbs is the largest diving area in the UK and that there is a risk that the removal of a locally-based lifeboat able to respond to incidents rapidly will discourage recreational visitors in particular; recognises that the retention of a lifeboat in this very busy and popular location for diving is a matter of public safety; and urges the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to fulfil its priority mission of saving lives at sea by reversing this unpopular decision.” – Early Day Motion 322 – St Abbs Lifeboat.
The motion has currently been signed buy 29 MPs.
You Can Help…..
You can help by writing (e-mailing) your local MP and asking them to sign “Early Day Motion 322 – St Abbs Lifeboat”. We need your support as there is a strict parliamentary convention that MPs can only deal with matters raised by those from their own constituency.
Thank you to everyone who joined the protest march on 4th July 2015. All together there were about 300 people who joined the march including community safety minister and MSP Paul Wheelhouse, MSP John Lamont and MP Calum Kerr.
Thanks also to Micheal Wilson for leading the march playing the pipes.
We’d like to thank the Scottish Sub Aqua Club for adding its voice to the campaign to Save St Abbs Lifeboat.
The ScotSAC Chair has written to the Chief Executive RNLI in support of keeping the St Abbs Lifeboat station open. It’s closure would mean a loss of local knowledge and the ability to respond quickly in an area where diving activity has increased. – ScotSAC Facebook Page.
The Scottish Sub Aqua Club (ScotSAC) is recognised by sportscotland as the National Governing Body for the sport of diving in Scotland. Its support adds more weight to our call for the proposed closure of St Abbs lifeboat station to be overturned.
We’d like to thank our local MSPs for supporting our campaign. Both John Lamont MSP and Paul Wheelhouse MSP have both given us valuable support, advice and have helped raise the profile of our campaign. We have also had the support of our local constituency MP Calum Kerr MP.
On the local level we have the support of Scottish Borders Council, and our local councillors Michael Cook and Jim Fullerton.
The support of our elected representatives has really boosted the moral of our campaigners.
Finally, we’d like to thank Ruth Davidson MSP and leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, pictured here with John Lamont MSP in the Scottish Parliament Debating Chamber, for supporting our campaign.
The National Trust for Scotland’s chief executive, Simon Skinner has written to the RNLI with his concerns. He said:
We do not think the proposed closure, and subsequent reliance on an Eyemouth-based lifeboat, is appropriate… my colleagues and I are greatly concerned that the lifeboat reaction time would be substantially reduced in an increasingly busy area, thereby leading to potentially tragic outcomes.
Read more about the NTS’s support for our campaign in The National newspaper here.
St Abbs Head NTS Ranger Liza Cole wears her Save St Abbs Lifeboat t-shirt with pride.
Saving Lives on the Berwickshire Coast since 1911.