When people pick their careers, they often do not think about its proximity to the sea or the lack of questions asked when they disappear.
However, for RNLI Stonehaven station manager Andy Martin, every minute counts.
Like many volunteers, when a call for help comes in, the former Royal Navy man drops everything, picks up his trauma kit and gets to the lifeboat as quickly as possible.
There is very little time for explanations when someone’s life is at risk.
Something Mr Martin, 49, is grateful his full-time employers not only understand but have also donated £10,000 to the cause.
10-minute launch time ‘crucial’ when lives are in danger
Mr Martin has been volunteering on lifeboats for nearly 18 years, the amount of time he has been employed by Hunting Energy Services.
After leaving the Navy, the maintenance facility manager in Aberdeen joined the RNLI when it came to Stonehaven in 2013.
Soon the dad-of-three was juggling what felt like two full-time jobs, a family and also a distance bachelor of engineering degree – spurred on by inhaling large amounts of caffeine.
While a lot of his role with RNLI falls in the evenings and weekends, there have been a few times he has had to rush out of work.
Mr Martin said: “The handful of jobs that I have had to disappear off in the middle of the day, Hunting have been very accommodating.
“They understand it if somebody’s life at risk that’s probably more important than if I’m doing hour by hour.
“We were at a job a few months ago to a vessel on fire just off Stonehaven with one person on board.
“A person in the water is probably the most crucial thing we will ever go out to do because lives are in grave and imminent danger.
“That’s a great example of a job that’s crucial.
“That 10 minutes makes all the difference and being able to drop everything and leave immediately no questions asked, it’s crucial for jobs like that.”
Funds go towards new RNLI Stonehaven station
However, for some crew, they do not receive the same level of understanding.
The conflict of demands can sometimes force volunteers to choose between their job and volunteering.
Mr Martin said the support received from his employer has helped him stay with the company longer.
He added: “I’m quite comfortable doing the job I’m in because it allows me to do my other job albeit one I don’t get paid for and for me that works out great.”
Seeing the dedication from their employee, Hunting Energy Services wanted to help give something back.
After RNLI launched an appeal for a new lifeboat station in Stonehaven this summer, the company offered to donate £10,000 to the appeal.
The funds will help the crew move from their current base of makeshift cabins to a new state-of-the-art lifeboat station.
Mr Martin is an ‘inspiration to those around him’
Hunting’s managing director, Stewart Barrie, said: “At Hunting, we understand the importance of Andy’s life outside the office and his role as station manager.
“We are more than happy to provide the necessary support that will allow him to continue delivering his invaluable experience and insight to the RNLI.
“Relying on the support of its volunteers and those who donate time, money, and resources to its stations throughout the UK and Ireland, Andy is a massive asset to the RNLI, particularly the Stonehaven Lifeboat Station where he operates from.
“Hunting is incredibly proud of the time and effort Andy has dedicated to the RNLI over his years of volunteering.
“As a vital member of the Hunting team and the RNLI, he is an inspiration to those around him.”
For those interested in volunteering with RNLI Stonehaven, please email firstname.lastname@example.org