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VIDEO: RNLI marks another year of saving lives at sea

Lifeboat crews from across the north-east have marked the end of another successful year of saving lives at sea and supporting communities inland in the aftermath of Storm Desmond and Storm Frank.

Volunteers serving on Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) boats across the region were kept busy all year round, but the end of December and start of January brought new challenges due to the severe flooding in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray.

The Buckie, Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Stonehaven teams were launched a total of 62 times, totalling more than 4,000 hours of gruelling service on often treacherous water.

But one of the hardest-working teams was the crew of the Aberdeen lifeboat, which spent hundreds of hours along the flooded edges of the rivers Dee and Don in the aftermath of Storm Frank helping communities to get their ruined lives back on track.

The crew offered its full support to the emergency services, power companies and communities of the north-east by helping to carry out evacuations and using special rockets to fire power lines across the swollen rivers, restoring vital resources to cut-off towns and villages.

Aberdeen’s lifeboat station mechanic Cal Reed said: “It got interesting towards the end of the year with the floods.

“There’s been a lot of locals in Ballater going on the Facebook page and the Twitter page to say thank you, and to actually be able to see all the thanks is really nice and a great boost for the career.”

Bill Deans, the operations manger of the Aberdeen crew, added: “The tail end of the year has been exceptionally busy with the results of the flooding in both rivers, Dee and Don, and we were dealing with the after effects of that.

“The rivers are never as high as they have been recently, it’s happened before and it will happen again.

“We’ll just take it in our stride.”

The RNLI relies on the support of charitable donations and volunteers to continue its life-saving work.

To find out how you can support the north-east and the rest of the UK’s lifeboats, visit www.rnli.org

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