A LIFEBOAT station in Shetland is appealing to local businesses to help raise £40,000 to convert parts of its base into much needed crew accommodation.
The RNLI in Aith have been spending up to £5,000 every year on housing relief coxswains and mechanics during holidays or other absence.
With local B&Bs fully occupied by contractors working in the oil and gas industry, lifeboat managers are finding it increasingly difficult to source nearby accommodation for relief crews.
The lifeboat station at Shetland’s remote Westside provides a round-the-clock search and rescue service, 365 days a year.
Last year the Severn class lifeboat Charles Lidbury attended 10 emergencies and rescued nine people.
The RNLI has now come up with the idea to convert parts of the existing station at Aith into accommodation space.
Aith lifeboat operation manager Jim Nicolson said the move would save the charity money but would also improve response times.
“Our solution is to convert part of the lifeboat station – the RNLI shop – into crew accommodation.
“Its location means that when in residence the relief coxswain and mechanic will be able to respond immediately in an emergency.
“This is a great opportunity to make much better use of it without affecting the running of the lifeboat station,” he said.
Any business interested to help the lifeboat station in Aith should get in touch with Nicolson on 01595 810 343 for more information.
Aith lifeboat station’s courageous crew have been keeping the waters safe off Shetland’s west coast for over 80 years.