Aith lifeboat crew members with their letters of recognition (left to right): coxswain John Robertson and volunteer crew members Lewis Fraser, Ivor Moffat and Nick McCaffrey. Missing from the photo is Robbie Abernethy and Luke Bullough. Photo: RNLI/Daniel Lawson

Aith lifeboat crew members with their letters of recognition (left to right): coxswain John Robertson and volunteer crew members Lewis Fraser, Ivor Moffat and Nick McCaffrey. Missing from the photo is Robbie Abernethy and Luke Bullough. Photo: RNLI/Daniel Lawson

Members of the Aith lifeboat crew have been awarded special recognition for their efforts during a rescue operation that lasted over 20-hours at sea.

In October 2021, the Severn class lifeboat Charles Lidbury – based at the RNLI’s most northerly station in Aith, Shetland – was called out to assist a 26-metre whitefish trawler which had lost power 60 miles west of the isles and was drifting in worsening weather conditions.

The resulting rescue operation – with assistance from other fishing vessels, as well as the Maritime & Coastguard Agency – saw the six fishermen onboard towed safely in to Scalloway harbour through gale force winds and heavy sea swells. The lifeboat crew then had to return to station in Aith, resulting in a 20-hour long operation.

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Volunteer crew members that day – Lewis Fraser, Luke Bullough, Nick McCaffrey and Ivor Moffat – have now received special commendations from RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie, alongside station mechanic Robbie Abernethy and coxswain John Robertson.

aith lifeboat crew recognition

The Aith Lifeboat towing the 26-metre trawler with nearby fishing vessels offering assistance. Photo: RNLI

Mr Dowie has praised the determination and courage shown by the Aith crew, describing their efforts as reflecting the “very best traditions” of the RNLI.

Speaking on behalf of the crew, Aith coxswain John Robertson said:

“Our volunteers turned out in poor conditions to do what they are trained to do in testing sea conditions. This was a lengthy but successful shout – a testament to the skill and tenacity of the Aith crew, and the excellent partnership working at sea. We are all pleased to have our efforts specially recognised by the RNLI, which is a charity very well supported in Aith – and all across Shetland.”

The awards of commendation were presented to crew members over the festive period at the Aith lifeboat station’s annual social evening. Lifeboat crew play darts, cards, pool and table football against the wider community in competition for the ‘Snolda Shield’ – named after a former RNLI lifeboat stationed in the village.

Source: Press Release

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RNLI recognition for Aith Lifeboat crew’s 20-hour rescue operation

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