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Lifeboat station in Leverburgh saved from closure – but more volunteers required

Leverburgh lifeboat
Stonehaven RNLI were launched to tow the yacht back into port,

A new lifeboat will be stationed at Leverburgh on Harris for the first time in two years after struggling to retain crew for life-saving operations.

RNLI Leverburgh was established in 2012, but operations were suspended in November 2019 operations due to a lack of crew members.

Now a smaller boat, an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat will be stationed on the island and replace the Shannon Class Lifeboat.

The arrival of the smaller lifeboat requires only four crew for full operations as opposed to six.

While Leverburgh now has enough crew to operate the vessel, volunteers are still needed for the day-to-day operations.

A fantastic group of volunteers is at the forefront of the re-establishment of the RNLI in Leverburgh.”

‘Renewed optimism’ for future

The crew has “renewed optimism” for the future as the new station will provide opportunities in the rural community and a local life-saving presence.

Training and exercises are now under way again at Leverburgh.

RNLI will continue to monitor the stations’ progress and its crew and will be subject to a two-year trial once the crew are competent and qualified to go to sea.

The new vessel has several attributes that make it an ideal craft to work in the Sound of Harris and the surrounding coastal areas and can work with just three crew.

Grant Fulton, Leverburgh RNLI operations manager, wrote on Facebook: “The current crew – comprising of former station members and new volunteers – really are to be commended for their progress to date.

“They have put in countless hours of training, both at home and away, and are now working towards their various competencies within the RNLI.

“The positive morale in the station is heartening to see and is testament to what a fantastic group of volunteers is at the forefront of the re-establishment of the RNLI in Leverburgh.

“The only way to progress as a station and community is to look forward. We are very much aware of the fact that we are on trial and that nothing is certain, but, we can be sure that we are doing our very best for the station and the wider community.

“Indeed, we would welcome all to get on board with us, to help us get back to providing a vital life-saving service for our area.”

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