Aberdeen’s RNLI branch is on the crest of a wave after securing £52,000 to replace its ageing inshore lifeboat.
A fundraising project was launched 10 months ago, and it was expected it would take a year and a half to generate the cash.
However, the money has been raised eight months ahead of schedule, and the D Class RNLB Margaret II can be replaced with immediate effect.
The 16ft vessel is the busier of Aberdeen’s two lifeboats, due to its special capability of operating close to shore and within Aberdeen’s two river estuaries.
The city’s current inshore lifeboat and its crew have already saved three young women this year, when a gale-force wind blew their paddle-boards uncontrollably out to sea off Aberdeen beach on March 14.
Davie Orr, coxswain of the lifeboat, said: “Everyone at the RNLI is hugely grateful to the people and businesses of Aberdeen for contributing to this special appeal.
“The fundraising effort is, frankly, never-ending: we still need to raise further funds for crew equipment and training on the new craft. But this is an important milestone passed.”
The Aberdeen ILB Appeal was boosted with help from Rig Deluge’s ‘Rally Round for the Lifeboat’ project, the ‘Glamour, Glitz and Bubbles’ Charity event, and substantial donations from Xcite and EnQuest.
The lifeboat station had its busiest year on record last year, with 41 call-outs on active search and rescue missions.
The station’s other boat, the £1.8million RNLB Bon Accord, was introduced in July 2000. The cost was met through donations from a large-scale fundraising campaign started by the then Lord Provost, Margaret Farquhar.