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Emergency services / Stephen takes on new role as lifeboat coxswain

Newly appointing Lerwick lifeboat coxswain Stephen Manson (left) with Darren Harcus who has been the lifeboat's coxswain for the last four years. Photo: RNLI

STEPHEN Manson has been named the new coxswain of Lerwick lifeboat, a role he will fully take on once he has completed further training over coming months.

He is replacing Darren Harcus who has been the lifeboat’s coxswain since 2018.

Harcus was recently appointed as a full-time resilience coxswain for the North of Scotland, providing relief coxswain cover for RNLI lifeboat stations wherever necessary.

Twenty-nine-year-old Manson, from Lerwick, originally trained as a vehicle mechanic and has more recently been employed on workboats in the local salmon industry.

He has been part of the volunteer crew on Lerwick’s lifeboat since October 2018 and he will now be working full-time at the station with responsibilities for crew training and station administration, alongside full-time lifeboat mechanic Ian Harms.

Lifeboat operations manager Malcolm Craigie said Manson will undertake further training in the coming months, including boat handling, advanced navigation, and search and rescue planning.

When he has completed his training and qualified as a coxswain, he will then take command of the lifeboat during future launches.

Craigie said: “I’m delighted that Stephen and Darren have both been appointed to these full-time roles – they’re both experienced and capable members of our lifeboat crew.

“We rely on full-time crew members to train and support our volunteer crews and to keep the lifeboat ready for launch 24/7.”

Craigie added that there are also a small number of experienced volunteer crew who are qualified as deputy second coxswains and who can take on the role of coxswain when required.

Harcus will remain a member of the volunteer crew on Lerwick lifeboat when at home in Shetland.