MRI manager’s stormy recollection

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Alongside the many homes and businesses that have been damaged profoundly by the recent spate of unfortunate weather, Stonehaven’s Maritime Rescue Institute is one organisation that is having a tough time trying to pull themselves back together.

Crews from the MRI were out for over 12 hours rescuing people from their homes on the weekend the River Carron burst its banks just over a week after their own building had been completely engulfed by remarkably high tides.

General Manager of the MRI in Stonehaven, Ann Laing said last week: “It’s been a lot of hassle, very time consuming. Our boats were damaged and there’s a lot of work needed on the boats and the workshop. Our whole heating system has gone and everything is all over the place.

“We are thankful that it’s not our home. When we saw the aftermath of the week after, with all the people being evacuated with all their belongings right before Christmas, we did feel rather lucky.

‘‘However it was still heartbreaking to see the damage the recent weather caused to the MRI building.

“There were tiles falling off the walls, and the whole building was shaking when the waves were coming over the pier. I was down earlier on in the evening and then when I saw the building in the morning all I thought was ‘where do we start?’. There were creels washed up inside of the workshop and our diesel tanker outside had been smashed against the door alongside flares which had been thrown about inside. It could’ve been incredibly dangerous.

“I thought the whole Boathouse cafe building was going to be washed away, it was wild.

The MRI is a charity and not funded by the Government nor part of the RNLI, they rely on donations to continue saving lives at sea.