RNLI launch fundraising appeal as Stonehaven set for new lifeboat station
Lifeboat volunteers at Stonehaven have been saving lives at sea for over 130 years, thanks to the support of the local community, but for the last 10 years, the crew have been launching to rescue from a makeshift lifeboat station.
Planning permission, submitted by the RNLI, shows exciting developments for the volunteers, with a new state-of-the-art station being built on the harbour.
It’s a purpose-built building that was once used by the Maritime Rescue Institute and, more recently, the Survitec Group.
However, the building will need slight renovations, including roof repairs and minor internal alternations, like replacing the boat hall door. These updates will also give the RNLI the opportunity to introduce more energy-efficient materials such as for the rood, heating, fixtures and fittings.
Aside from all the updates required, the site already has everything Stonehaven lifesavers could wish for and more – a large integrated boat hall, space for training, an operations room, changing and shower facilities, a mechanic’s workshop, kitchen and breakout area.
Andy Martin is the Lifeboat Operations Manager and one of the helms at Stonehaven RNLI.
He said: “A new lifeboat station like this would change things completely. It will be hugely beneficial in so many ways. We’ll be able to conduct training sessions in a dedicated training area – and fit everyone in!
“We’ll no longer have to compromise on space and storage for kit, spare parts and fundraising materials. When brining casualties back to the station, we’ll be able to offer them a more comfortable recovery space and showers to warm up in. And for casualties requiring more urgent medical care, we’ll have more space to care for them.”
The Stonehaven RNLI crew also hope to be able to invite visitors for an education experience, including showcasing the work they do and how to stay safe in and around water – an experience that could ultimately save their lives, and inspire the next generation of RNLI volunteers.
The new lifeboat station would also have a permanent shop for their fundraisers, who currently only have access to a pop-up RNLI shop in the town.
Andy adds: “Above all, being able to keep the lifeboat and its launching tractor and trailer in the same building will shave vital seconds off of launch times, which will ultimately help us reach everyone we can. A purpose-built lifeboat station is as good as it gets.”
The new station-build is estimated to cost around £900,000, so Stonehaven RNLI has launched a fundraising campaign to help raise £50,000 to support the appeal.
Hunting Energy Services, with office locations in Portlethen, Westhill, and Fordoun, have shown their support for the fundraising appeal of Stonehaven RNLI’s new station. They have generously contributed £5,000 to aid the campaign.
Stewart Barrie, Hunting’s Managing Director, explains: "Hunting takes great pride in their support for the RNLI, a vital charity that operates across the UK and Ireland. This organisation holds significant importance not only on a national scale but also within local communities where numerous staff members live. It is truly an esteemed privilege for us to be associated with a charity entirely funded by donations and relies on devoted volunteers who generously sacrifice their time to safeguard lives along our coastlines."
To support Stonehaven’s new station appeal and to find out more, visit: www.justgiving.com/campaign/RNLIstonehavenappeal