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Historic lifeboat to be restored

| Written by Shetland News

The lamb shelter at Skeo Houll - Photos: Courtesy of Shetland Amenity Trust The lamb shelter at Skeo Houll - Photos: Courtesy of Shetland Amenity Trust A ONE hundred year old lifeboat that saved ten men from drowning is being restored in the boat shed of the Shetland Museum and Archives.

The Peterhead registered steam drifter Ugie Brae and with it 15 other fishing boats were sunk on 23 June 1915 by the German submarine U-38, some 35 miles north east of Skerries.

The local population of the tiny Shetland island took to sea to help after the men of the Ugie Brae and the Uffa had been spotted drifting around six miles from shore.

They were taken to Whalsay to catch the Earl of Zetland, but the two lifeboats remained in Skerries.

The lifeboat in the boat shed of Shetland Museum and Archives. The lifeboat in the boat shed of Shetland Museum and Archives. Having served as a lamb shelter at Skeo Houll for almost 100 years, the historic vessel will now be restored to former glory by expert boat builder Robbie Tait and Jack Duncan.

Shetland museum curator Dr Ian Tait said: “The Uffa’s boat became a grice stye, which was demolished many years ago, but the Ugie Brae’s boat became a shelter for lambs at Skeo Houll and has remained a local landmark.

“In later years, a floor was added to the lambie-hoose and the building was used to recharge the accumulator batteries used to power a wireless.

“Time and the weather have, however, taken its toll and the condition of the boat had deteriorated badly.”

To safeguard the small clinker built boat the Skerries community approached Shetland Amenity Trust to see if ways could be found to save this part of Skerries heritage.

Once restored, the lifeboat will be returned to Skerries and it will be reinstated in its landmark position.