RNLI crew members answer 41 shouts

George Sorley, Anstruther RNLI, proudly shows off his long service badge with added 10 year bar (Credit RNLI Tom Danks)
George Sorley, Anstruther RNLI, proudly shows off his long service badge with added 10 year bar (Credit RNLI Tom Danks)

ANSTRUTHER lifeboat station was one of the country’s busiest last year, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has revealed.

Crew members spent just under 1316 hours at sea in 2011, the third highest total throughout Scotland.

Its boats were launched 41 times, with the inshore craft being deployed on 22 occasions and the all-weather boat making 19 trips.

The volunteer crew assisted 28 people and spent another 1017.5 hours in sea, on exercises.

Overall Scotland’s RNLI lifeboats launched 1006 times last year, assisting 847 people, making it the charity’s sixth busiest ever 12 months.

Praising the crews, Paul Jennings, the RNLI’s divisional inspector in Scotland, said: “The annual statistics reveal once again the devotion to duty by our volunteer crews throughout Scotland.

“Apart from the shouts, the crews spend a great deal of time in exercising and improving their skills so that they are in a position to help anyone in all types of weather and in all types of situation.”

Meanwhile Anstruther’s most experienced crewman has been recognised for his commitment.

Deputy Coxswain, George Sorley (54), joined the service in 1977 and last week received an additional 10 years bar to add to his 20 years long service badge.

A local man, George, who was a fisherman when he joined the crew of the Anstruther ‘The Doctors’ lifeboat, conducts regular training sessions and is also an ambassador for the RNLI by providing a link between it and East Neuk schools, where he works as a janitor.

Peter Murray MBE, coxswain of the Anstruther Lifeboat when George was recruited, commented: “George joined the crew as a launcher and very quickly worked his way onto the crew of the boat, he remains a great ambassador for the lifeboat service, an excellent devoted man very worthy of praise.”

Records are not available for the total number of incidents George has been involved in however in the latter 10 years of his service he has been onboard the lifeboat for just over 120 service calls.