Peterhead Lifeboat Not in Use Because of ‘Personal Rivalries’

Graphic for News Item: Peterhead Lifeboat Not in Use Because of 'Personal Rivalries'

The Lifeboat that was among the first on the scene of a North Sea helicopter ditching in 2012 is not being used for rescues because of the “lack of mutual trust” among some of its volunteers.

RNLI said the move was a last resort after years of trying to work through “personal rivalries and historic disagreements” of some crew members based at Peterhead.

A trained mediator had been deployed but the RNLI concluded the station could no longer function safely.

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Lifesaving cover will now be provided by crews in Fraserburgh and Aberdeen causing significant delays in the event of any emergencies in the area.

Peterhead is the largest fishing port in the UK by fish landings and has the second largest fleet of fishing vessels in Scotland after Fraserburgh. Offshore crew transfer helicopters regularly fly over the town and the Peterhead RNLI Lifeboat has played a crucial role in many oil industry related rescues over the years.

Peterhead lifeboat is situated in the most easterly point of mainland Scotland and was the first station in Scotland to be given the latest Tamar class lifeboat.

The RNLI’s decision came after failed attempts to recruit more volunteers for the Aberdeenshire town’s lifeboat crew, which has been in operation since 1865.

However, the organisation said it was still committed to keeping the station open, adding that it would work with the remaining crew to get the service back into operation.

‘Historic disagreements’

A spokesman said: “This action is a last resort and follows many attempts to tackle a lack of mutual trust, good communication and teamwork among the crew which has become so serious that the station is no longer capable of operating safely and effectively.

“The RNLI has put much time and resource into trying to support the volunteer crew and tackle the problems at Peterhead lifeboat station, including dedicated staff support and the use of a trained mediator.

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“The RNLI has previously met with, and written to, some of those concerned to explain the type of behavioural changes that need to be made.

“Unfortunately, some crew members have been unable to work together to put the lifesaving service before their own personal rivalries and historic disagreements, resulting in the decision that they can no longer remain as part of the crew.”

The current RNLI boat at Peterhead dates from 2006 and was funded by a donation from the Robertson Trust, a charity with a history of supporting the RNLI and which also paid for station’s previous lifeboat.

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