Anstruther Lifeboat Station
(Photo Jim Alan)
The town of
is situated on the south shore of the County of Fife, Scotland, overlooking the Forth Estuary . Anstruther
UK Location map - Anstruther & other RNLI Stations
Anstruther is one of a line of picturesque communities in the
East Neukof Fifenotable for their contribution to the fishing industry, especially in the silver days of herring and earlier times of trade with Europe.
The lifeboat station, founded in 1865, presently has an All Weather Lifeboat - 12 metre Mersey Class Fast Carriage Boat, housed in the boathouse and launched from a carriage at the slip or within the harbour depending upon tide conditions
(see pages on the Lifeboat and Launch & Recovery)
Lifeboats at Dunbar,
North Berwick, South Queensferryand Kinghorn, together with Anstruther, provide cover for the entrance to the Firth of Forth and adjacent North Sea
Fifecoastline in the Anstruther area is exposed, especially to weather from the east and southeast, it is rocky and dangerous, the harbours require great care on entering.
(Photo Alex Purves)
Anstruther Lifeboat Station - Boathouse & Slip during alterations
The Anstruther Lifeboat Crew
Photo Trevor Ledger Copyright
Almost the full crew for the photograph during opening ceremony
of the extended and refurbished Lifeboat Station for the IB1 D Class Inshore Lifeboat D667
In common with other Lifeboat Stations the Crew (apart from the Mechanic), Launchers, Station official's, Local Branch members,and fundraisers are all volunteers, prepared to contribute time and effort in various ways to man the boat, organise training, fund raising, publicity events and administration.
The crew list indicates the roles of the individuals, but it is essential to have multi skilled crew able to man the Lifeboat with different combination of crew members.
Joining the RNLI
Each crew member after a probationary and training period is invited to join the RNLI a contract is signed and the member is made aware of their responsibilities and Health & Safety implications. An individual 'pager' is issued and this is tested once a week at a prearranged time to check the system operation
The pager is used at any time of the day or night to alert ALL crew members, therefore ensuring that adequate crew numbers can be mustered to take the boat, the essential members are the Coxswain, Mechanic, Radio Officer and Tractor driver (without whom the Lifeboat will not be launched) The lifeboat is designed for a crew of 6, but it is at the Coxswain's discretion regarding the crew and numbers taken, more may be required if for example a wide area visual search is required.
Some stations have dedicated crew teams who are on standby for set periods. At Anstruther it is only within the three coxswain that an unofficial rota takes place, to maintain constant cover.
A typical scenario of events would be, a boat in distress calls on Channel 16 (the channel monitored 24hrs a day 7 days a week 365 days a year by the Coast Guard at Fife Ness - MRSC Forth)
The call is picked up by MRSC Forth, contact made, location established and nature of the distress if possible. The Launching Authority is immediately contacted in Anstruther, the pagers are alerted to 'Immediate Readiness' or 'Launch ALB'.
' Immediate Readiness' requests all the crew available to assemble at the Boathouse for detailed instructions, 'Launch ALB' requires the lifeboat to be launched as quickly and safely as possible. The decision to launch is taken by the Coxswain and Hon Sec Launch Authority.
As the crew muster, the coxswain has to be certain he has the appropriate crew for the task in hand, the launch crew will be checking the safety of the carriage, starting the tractor and preparing to move the Lifeboat to launch position, low tide levels present further problems. (See the section on Launch & Recovery)
The Coxswain takes control of the Lifeboat from the Head Launcher at the point of launch from the carriage
. The Radio Officer and Helm will be quickly trying to establish the best course to the location if given by the Coast Guard, all under the control of the Coxswain.
All this can be achieved within 5 minutes!
After the Launch - Recovery - Ready for the next 'Shout'
Launch crew will now make good the carriage and await the return of the Lifeboat.
Because of the tidal fluctuations within Anstruther harbour it is not always possible for the lifeboat to enter the harbour or remain at a pier with sufficient water to leave the berth if called out again. While waiting for the correct tide level for safe recovery onto the carriage, the coxswain may in some circumstances decide to secure the lifeboat at Pittenweem harbour (where even at low tide, water depth is always available) and return to Anstruther when the tide allows. The crew would therefore be collected from Pittenweem (or other any other safe harbour) and returned to the station.
The pagers would again be activated to recall the Lifeboat crew and launch crew, at a given time for recovery at Anstruther slipway (Service archive details these events) Once back in the Boathouse the Lifeboat is immediately refuelled and made ready for the next service call. The Coast Guard are also informed that the Lifeboat is again available for service. A Debriefing is held with the crew and Service returns made to the RNLI HQ.
Anstruther Lifeboat Crew
RNLI Service from
Lifeboat Operations manager
Deputy Launch Authority
Cox / EM / STC
2nd Cox / Senior Helm. Station Mechanic
Dep 2nd Cox / EM / Helm
Dep Cox / Emergency Mechanic
NAV / LPO
Dep Cox /Helm/ EM / ILB Mech
NAV / Helm
NAV / Helm
EM / Helm
Alex C Purves
Carl Van Der Lee
George Hodge Crew 2010 Simon Bowler Crew 2011 Tam Fyall Crew (P) SSO 2011 Brian Hamilton Crew (P) 2011 Ester Jones Crew (P) 2011 Viky Morris Crew (P) 2011 Ryan Leich Crew (P) 2011 Sturat Hoggan Crew (P) 2011
Dept Head launcher
Dept Tractor Driver
Tom Lawrence Shore Crew 2011
LAO / LVO
The crew list is made up of Launch Authority under John Clark LOM (Lifeboat Operations manager)
The Coxswain & first crew some of whom are Boat Officers, the crew members and Launch crew.
As it can be seen from the crew table, most of the crew have many years of service and dedication to the RNLI and the Anstruther Lifeboats. The crew also come from all walks of life and professions, there are amongst the crew, Builders, Fishing boat skippers, Fishermen, Joiner, Electronics Engineer, Police Inspector, Farmers, Janitors, Architect, Mechanics. All bringing different skills to the station. All live and most work within 3 miles of the Lifeboat Station.
The Lifeboat has to be operated twice per month to run the engines and check all the systems in operation (though the Mechanic spends time constantly checking and maintaining components - the Lifeboat always has to be serviceable -never knowing when the next Service Call 'Shout' will happen!) A replacement lifeboat is made available for periods of extended planed maintenance.
The crew also use the system check on the lifeboat to practice, train and perfect the duties they may be called upon to perform at night in a gale force wind!
The twice monthly exercise (as noted on Home page) enable the crew to set up certain scenarios and train in the use of all the equipment. It is also an opportunity for the public to see the Lifeboat in action and the work of the launch team.
A strict training regime exists to ensure that all members of the crews (lifeboat & shore) can perform several different roles. A routine training log is used to maintain a record of an individuals experience and establish either appropriate training courses for them to attend or 'on the job' training. Each exercise schedules several of the tasks from the 50 listed on the training log, different crew members can practice or be instructed, under supervision during the exercise, the records are then held in the training room at the Station.
See Training Log
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