VOLUNTEER crew from Queensferry’s lifeboat met with royalty yesterday (Thursday) when the town’s new lifeboat was named.
At a special ceremony at Dundas Castle, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh met the volunteers and looked over the new boat which is set to come into service in November, once the town’s new lifeboat station is operational.
Prince Philip named the new boat by pouring whisky from a quaich over the bow and christened her Jimmie Cairncross after the donor of the funds for the £180,000 inshore boat. The late Perth-born Mr Cairncross, a jeweller, was a Life Governor of the RNLI who died in 2002.
The ceremony was staged at Dundas Castle as work to build the new lifeboat station at the Hawes Pier is still underway.
The new boat, an Atlantic 85, is the most powerful inshore lifeboat operated by the charity and it replaces the current boat, the Donald and Ethel Macrae, a shorter, less powerful Atlantic 75, which arrived on station in 1997.
It has a maximum speed of 35 knots, two 115 horsepower engines, a crew of four volunteers and utilitises the latest equipment to ensure casualties can be located more quickly than ever. The lifeboat will also be able to be launched directly down the Hawes pier.
The new lifeboat station is required at Queensferry to accommodate the longer boat but the extended premises will also cater for a training room, crew changing facilities, a mechanics workshop and a dedicated shop to sell RNLI souvenirs.
Tom Robertson, the RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager at Queensferry, said: “The new lifeboat will enable us to offer an even faster service on the water and it will cover the water quicker in getting to a casualty. With the new electronics and direction finder on board her we can locate a casualty a lot more accurately.”
Tom added: “We are honoured and delighted to have a royal visitor to Queensferry and this marks another exciting day in the history of the station. Our last royal visitor was Princess Anne in January 2009.”