An all-weather lifeboat will head to one of Scotland’s busiest rescue stations and place another in “crisis” after the outcome of a lifesaving review led to a decision U-turn.
The Shannon-class lifeboat – the “pride” of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution fleet – is to be stationed at Broughty Ferry after Arbroath station were originally “promised” the £2.5m jet-powered craft in 2014.
The station will instead receive an open Atlantic 85 rigid inflatable boat – which volunteers say is not “up to the same capabilities” as the original promised vessel.
The decision has been met by anger by senior figures at Arbroath, who say the ruling has resulted in a “downgrade” of their station and affects how far they go out from the harbour.
The news was delivered on Friday after a major lifesaving review of both stations.
Alex Smith, operations manager at Arbroath, said: “It means basically a downgrading of our station from an all-weather lifeboat station to an inshore lifeboat station.
“This means we’re restricted as to how far we can range from the harbour and also we are restricted by the weather because it’s not up to the same capabilities of the all-weather lifeboat.
“It’s my responsibility to authorize the launching of that boat.”
Arbroath locals packed out the Meadowbank Inn on Tuesday evening to register their displeasure over the outcome of the RNLI review.
Local figures say that while the Atlantic is a capable craft, it is not fit for the Arbroath role – and it could affect the safety of volunteers.
Mr Smith added: “I want my crew, the young men, to go out knowing that they have the best asset possible when they’re leaving this harbour.
“It’s so that I know that they can come back safely.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country