Queensferry lifeboat starts recruiting drive

A lifeboat crew. Picture: Joey Kelly
A lifeboat crew. Picture: Joey Kelly
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A recruitment drive has been launched to get volunteers on board the busiest inshore lifeboat station in Scotland.

Queensferry Lifeboat Station has vacancies for trainee lifeboat crew members and is to hold two recruitment sessions at its base in Hawes Pier.

Those who put themselves forward will have to commit to a year’s training, culminating in week-long course at the RNLI training college in Poole.

Helmsman Mike Garfitt, 31, who has volunteered for the RNLI for eight years, said: “Volunteering gives you a real buzz, it’s fulfilling to know you are putting something back into the community and coming to the aid of people who need help.

“But one of the problems with recruiting people in South Queensferry is it doesn’t have any big employers any more. In the past, we had a lot of crew who worked for Hewlett-Packard. We’re looking ideally for someone who lives and works in South Queensferry and whose employer will let them away, but anyone who can spare some time is welcome.”

The lifeboat station is called out to around 70 incidents a year, saving countless lives. In a tragic incident in May, crews raced to the scene east of Hound Point oil terminal where a 73-year-old man was discovered unconscious and not breathing in the water next to a dinghy. He was given CPR as the crew returned to Hawes Pier but later died in hospital.

Mike, who was part of the crew that day, said: “The sea area in our patch is quite challenging. We’re called out to a lot of vessels in distress, searches for missing people and a lot of medicals. There’s quite a vast spectrum to what we do.”

Prospective crew members should be “team players” aged between 17 and 45 years old and able to pass a medical and eyesight test. The recruitment events will be a chance to meet and talk to serving crew and station management.

The first recruitment event takes place on Saturday between 7pm and 9pm.

To find out more, visit www.queensferry.ilb.org.uk.