QUEENSFERRY’S RNLI statesman Tom Robertson MBE is stepping down from duty to make way for new operations manager David Smart.
Tom first started out at Queensferry RNLI as a lifeboat crewman, before stepping up to helmsman, deputy launching authority and finally as operations manager at the station in a career that has spanned 40 years.
He bows out of the RNLI knowing that the station in Queensferry is in good hands with a new station and lifeboat.
Tom (71) said: “I should have retired last year and would have but I wanted to see the new station and delivery of the lifeboat through. While I am sad to leave the day-to-day running of the station, I will not disappear as I am still chairman of the Queensferry Lifeboat Management Group, so will still be there in the background.”
His successor is David Smart, who has also been part of the crew for over 25 years, and who now becomes only the third operations manager since the station opened in 1967, the other being Jack Kersley. David praised Tom’s role saying: “The role of lifeboat operations manager is not an easy one, they are in charge of authorising launches and day-to-day station management, which, at Scotland’s busiest inshore lifeboat is no easy task.
“His passion for the water was there for all to see, and he carried this on and transformed it into dedication towards everything Queensferry lifeboat, including its crew and the RNLI. Even when Tom was having a well deserved few days off, he would always be on the phone during a service to make sure everything and everybody was ok.”
The new operations manager added he is looking forward to his new role as well as that of station mechanic, and holding down a full-time job.
Tom, pictured right with his successor, said: “The station is in safe hands with David.”