Teenage Fraserburgh Lifeboat crewman gets first shout - 24 hours after receiving his pager

Declan Sutherland got his first callout twenty-four hours after recieving his pager (PICTURE: BILLY WATSON)
Declan Sutherland got his first callout twenty-four hours after recieving his pager (PICTURE: BILLY WATSON)

A new teenage Fraserburgh Lifeboat recruit got his first call-out last week - twenty-four hours after being handed his pager.

Declan Sutherland,17, responded to an emergency call from a distressed yacht having only received his pager the day before from his uncle - coxwain Victor Sutherland.

Declan, whose father is 2nd coxwain at Fraserburgh Lifeboat, said: “Honestly I didn’t think we’d be paged so quickly.”

The teenager responded to a call from a Norwegian yacht which had got caught out by the high winds on Sunday August 7.

Declan said: “When I got my pager I knew what to expect as my father Dave has always had one and I knew that it could go any time, day or night when you’re least expecting it.

“Luckily for me this time I had just got into my car when the pager went off so I was in the ideal position to be able to respond quickly and get down to the station in time to make the shout.”

He continued: “When I got to the station everyone got suited and booted very quickly and before I knew it I was on the lifeboat with the rest of the crew and we were heading out of the harbour at high speed”

“Duty coxswain John Stephen told us we were going to assist a yacht in trouble at Troup Head and we’d be working along with Macduff lifeboat and towing the yacht into Macduff Harbour.”

“This was exactly what we trained for on exercise only 3 days beforehand when we’d met up with the Buckie and Macduff lifeboats on Thursday night and practised for a situation such as this.”

As well as his uncle Victor and his father Dave being currently involved with Fraserburgh Lifboat, Declan comes from a long line of Fraserburgh RNLI crew members.

His grandfather Vic Sutherland senior was also 2nd Coxswain when his twin brother Albert was coxswain in the 1980s through the 1990s into the early part of the 21st Century.

The twin brothers Vic and Albert first joined in the 1960s and are still part of the management today.