The RNLI are still proposing to close the St Abbs Lifeboat Station on the 8th September and then on the 1st October the RAF Search and Rescue (SAR) Helicopter service will be withdrawn from RAF Boulmer, Northumberland.
Aftert the 1st October search and rescue helicopters will be operated by the private sector company “Bristow Group” and sadly as part of this change there will no longer be SAR helicopters based at RAF Boulmer. This means that instead of the helicopters only having to travel from Boulmer – 40 miles from St Abbs. The nearest SAR helicopters will now be based at Glasgow’s Prestwick Airport – 100 miles from the St Abbs – and Humberside Airport, which is 175 miles away.
We would all (lifeboat crew, community, divers, walker, anglers, surfers, kayakers, sailors and fishermen of St Abbs) like to say a big thank you to the men and women, past and present of RAF 202 Squadron “Search and Rescue” based at RAF Boulmer for all their help over the years.
You’ve been there to rescue people stuck on the cliffs, airlift divers to the decompression chamber in Aberdeen, take our injured fishermen to hospital. And have joined us in search operations when someone has been lost at sea.
Those big yellow Seaking’s have become a real sign of hope for those in distress.
And once again on Sunday night (23rd August 2015) you joined the St Abbs Lifeboat to search for a surfer reported missing from Coldingham Sands. Luckily, after two hours the search was called off as all surfers had been safely accounted for.
So good luck and best wishes for the future. For when you cease operations on October 1st you will leave a big hole in “Search and Rescue” operations in this part of the UK. Thank you from all your friends in St Abbs.