Stonehaven bids farewell to ‘Miss Betty’

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It was a poignant day this week as Stonehaven RNLI said a fond farewell to the last Atlantic 75 lifeboat in service in Scotland.

The volunteer crew watched as ‘Miss Betty’ was winched out of the water to be transported to Poole.

It follows the arrival at the end of October of the larger Atlantic 85 that is now to be stationed at Stonehaven.

The new Atlantic 85 “Jamie Hunter” is due to arrive on station in the next few weeks.

At the moment, the crew is training intensively on a relief Atlantic 85.

The new lifeboat has some advancement on its predecessor.

The Atlantic 85 design allows room for four crew members and more kit than the Atlantic 75 vessel, which only had room for three crew.

It is powered by two 115 horsepower engines and has a stronger hull and a greater top speed of 35 knots.

The added radar allows the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and there is also VHF direction-finding equipment.

The Atlantic 85, which was introduced to the RNLI fleet in 2005, also carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.

Lifeboat operations manager Andy Martin said “We are all sorry to say goodbye to ‘Miss Betty’.

“The Atlantic 75 has been a great lifeboat and kept many people safe, but we are proud to be the custodians of this new lifeboat that will allow our volunteers to save many more lives in the years to come.”

RNLI volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the UK and Republic of Ireland coasts.

The charity operates more than 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and over 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands.

The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and Government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service.

Since the organisation was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved more than 142,200 lives.