Broch lifeboat donation will help save lives

Volunteer crew member Grant Duthie presents Fraserburgh Lifeboat Coxswain Vic Sutherland with a cheque from his employer CNOOC Nexen.
Volunteer crew member Grant Duthie presents Fraserburgh Lifeboat Coxswain Vic Sutherland with a cheque from his employer CNOOC Nexen.

Fraserburgh Lifeboat have received a donation of £1,000 after it emerged that the crew face problems boarding the vessel.

Currently the lifeboat lies afloat, moored alongside the harbour wall and a concrete staircase is built into the quayside for access to the boat - but at low water it can be difficult to move equipment or casualties ashore.

Victor Sutherland, Lifeboat Coxswain, said: “‘If it’s been raining heavily, the handrails and staircase are wet, or they can be icy, and that is obviously an issue as the crew go to and from the lifeboat.”

At high tide the crew have to clamber over handrailing and protection mats to get aboard, and the boat is also susceptible to damage in rough weather when it is pushed against the harbour wall.

As a result CNOOC Nexen made the donation after they were contacted about the problem by their employee Grant Duthie who laso volunteers as a crew member with the lifeboat.

The donation will go towards the construction of a custom built pontoon for the lifeboat.

Victor said: “For boarding and disembarking a pontoon will make a big, big difference, irrespective of the state of the tide.

“It gives us a platform to step on to before coming up the stairs or stepping onboard.

“It will also make transferring casualties off the lifeboat safer and more comfortable, in all weather conditions, making this part of the rescue operation much smoother.”

Victor thanked Nexen saying that the new pontoon will enable them to access the boat easier and as such will help them save lives at sea.

The Lifeboat also received a donation from Bill and Lynn Pitt from Mill of Nethermill Self Catering Apartments.