Live updates

St Abbs lifeboat crew resume RNLI service

St Abbs Lifeboat Station Credit: ITV Border

St Abbs lifeboat crew say they will reactivate their emergency pagers and respond to any call for help.

The team at St Abbs were refusing to carry out rescues on behalf of the RNLI, after it announced the closure of the station.

A spokesperson for the crew said: "With another busy weekend of diving, watersports, fishing & walking looming, and a bank holiday due next weekend, they felt they could not leave users of this stretch of coastline vulnerable and without the vital and swift coverage their Atlantic 75 lifeboat provides".

The RNLI says changes in technology - not cost cutting - mean the station is no longer needed, and that they can provide a better service by closing it, and adding an extra lifeboat to the Eyemouth station two miles away:

This review hasn't been about putting any sort of cover into jeopardy, it is about making the best use of our resources in the area, and it is about making sure the funds that our supporters give us are spent wisely where they are needed so we get a good layout of stations around our coast."

– RNLI

Lamont calls for St Abbs station to stay open

Credit: ITV Border

Local MSP John Lamont has added his name to those calling for St Abbs lifeboat station to be kept open.

RNLI announced that the site in St Abbs will be closed by the end of the summer.

It plans to add an inshore boat to the station at Eyemouth.

But the MSP has urged RNLI to consider delaying the closure for another year.

He claims the group will save around £2.5 million from April 2015 as it will no longer be paying VAT, and this money could be used to sustain the service.

The concern has been raised that closing the station will put lives at risk and put people off coming to St Abbs to dive.

"The UK Government has just given RNLI a tax relief worth around £2.5m annually.

"I’d hope that these savings can be put to good use to protect frontline services.

"Delaying this decision for another year will allow these savings to come through and may mean RNLI is in a position to retain the station.”

– John Lamont MSP

Advertisement

St Abbs lifeguards 'will use own boats' for rescues

St Abbs station will close.

Lifeboat crews at St Abbs are refusing to carry out rescues on behalf of the RNLI, after it announced the closure of their station.

Volunteers were told yesterday that the station, which has been in the Berwickshire town for 104 years, will shut in three months.

It was built in 1911 after a shipwreck that killed 19 people.

But the RNLI says changes in technology - not cost cutting - mean the station is no longer needed, and that they can provide a better service by closing it, and adding an extra lifeboat to the Eyemouth station two miles away:

This review hasn't been about putting any sort of cover into jeopardy, it is about making the best use of our resources in the area, and it is about making sure the funds that our supporters give us are spent wisely where they are needed so we get a good layout of stations around our coast."

– RNLI

However, crew members have now handed in their pagers, and they say they won't respond to calls from the RNLI, in protest against the decision, which they say could cost lives:

The RNLI has asked them to reconsider, and says it will speed up plans for the new inshore lifeboat at Eyemouth station.

The volunteers say that if a serious accident happens, they will use their own boats to help.

Bid to launch lifeboat group in landlocked city

David Bowen, who is forming an RNLI group in Carlisle Credit: ITV Border

Carlisle might not be on the coast, but that hasn't stopped one campaigner launching a lifeboat charity group in the city.

David Bowen - an active member of the Silloth and District RNLI for many years - is appealing for volunteers in Carlisle to help raise funds for the charity that provides a 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service from four stations in Cumbria.

The RNLI, which relies entirely on donations, rescued more than 100 people in Cumbria last year and Mr Bowen wants to boost fundraising efforts by establishing this new group.

While the majority of RNLI rescues are carried out in coastal waters, the charity helped rescue residents trapped in the Carlisle floods of 2005 and Cockermouth in 2009.

"The RNLI is funded by the people of Britain, we don't get any subsidies from the Government at all so without the public's help we'd find it very difficult to provide this life-saving service."

– David Bowen, Carlisle RNLI

Around 10 Carlisle volunteers have already come forward but Mr Bowen is aiming to double that number.

Anybody interested in volunteering can register their interest or find out more by calling Mr Bowen on 01697 478100 or 07729478482 or emailing dwkbowen@outlook.com

Rise in RNLI call-outs prompts new drowning warning

New figures released by the RNLI show that the number of coastal deaths has reached its highest level for four years.

In 2012/2013 thirteen people died in our coastal waters - four in the seas off Cumbria, five off Dumfries and Galloway and, on the East coast, four died off the Scottish Borders' shoreline.

The RNLI is now launching another campaign to raise awareness of water danger.

Lori Carnochan reports.

Advertisement

Warning after RNLI call out numbers on the up

The RNLI lifeboat service in Workington are warning people of the dangers of water after exceeding their annual call out numbers in just seven months. The volunteers usually have around 12 call outs per year, but have had 15 already in 2014- with four of those in the past week.

The hot weather has been a contributing factor as more people head to the coasts to enjoy the sunshine.

"People need to remember how dangerous the water can be and what can happen if you go out there without the proper knowledge.

"Make sure you are with somebody who knows what to do if you get into trouble. Be aware of the dangers of swimming in cold water- it can cause shock in a matter of seconds.

"Don't drink alcohol if you're going out on the water, leave that until you're back on dry land.

"Make sure you know the tide times and be prepared for a change in weather."

– Workington Cowain, John Stobbart

There are two lifeboats based at Workington and the large vessel costs around £6000 for every call out.

The 22 crew, who respond to the rescues, are all voluntary and are on call every day of the year.

RNLI warns 'Respect the Water' as summer approaches

The RNLI have released figures today, as part of their summer drowning awareness campaign, that show the number of people dying in coastal incidents is at its highest for four years.

  • More people die at the coast each year than are killed in cycling accidents
  • Over two-thirds of those killed around the coast are adult men
  • Alcohol is a factor in around 1 in 5 coastal deaths
The RNLI boat at Workington Credit: ITV Border

13 people died around our region's coast last year

13 people died around our region's coast last year Credit: PA

More people die at the coast each year than are killed in cycling accidents, according to new findings from the RNLI.

13 people died around our region's coast last year.

The figures come as the charity launch a major drowning awareness campaign - Respect the Water.

Hot summer keeps RNLI busy

Last year, the poor weather kept many people away from our beaches but this summer long periods of sunshine have led to visitors flocking to the coast.

Our lifeguards have been kept extremely busy treating everything from minor cuts and bruises through to performing major first-aid and lifesaving rescues.

95% of a lifeguard's work is preventative and this year the public has really embraced our key safety messages such as always swimming between the red and yellow flags. This has probably meant incidents haven't risen too sharply compared to the increased volume of beach users.**

– Matt Horton, RNLI Senior Lifeguard Manager
Load more updates