Emergency services / Aith lifeboat crew recognised for its ‘skill and tenacity’

The Enterprise II under tow. Photo: RNLI (Aith Lifeboat)

THE CREW of the Aith lifeboat has been awarded special recognition for its efforts during a rescue operation in autumn of 2021 that lasted over 20 hours at sea.

The lifeboat was called out early on Friday morning – 22 October 2021 – to assist the 26-metre Banff registered whitefish trawler Enterprise II which lost power 60 miles west of the isles and was drifting in worsening weather conditions.

The vessel with six crew on board had suffered engine failure the night before in force eight winds. The Enterprise II was towed to Scalloway by the Kirkwall registered Aalskere, arriving there at 11pm on Friday, with the Aith lifeboat giving cover.

The lifeboat arrived back at base in Aith at 3am the following morning, more than 20 hours after it been called out.

Stricken fishing vessel towed to safety

Aith lifeboat crew members with their letters of recognition (left to right): coxswain John Robertson and volunteer crew members Lewis Fraser, Ivor Moffat and Nick McCaffrey. Missing from the photo is Robbie Abernethy and Luke Bullough.

Volunteer crew members Lewis Fraser, Luke Bullough, Nick McCaffrey and Ivor Moffat have now received special commendations from RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie, alongside station mechanic Robbie Abernethy and coxswain John Robertson.

Dowie praised the determination and courage shown by the Aith crew, describing their efforts as reflecting the “very best traditions” of the RNLI.

Speaking on behalf of the crew coxswain Robertson said: “Our volunteers turned out in poor conditions to do what they are trained to do in testing sea conditions.

“This was a lengthy but successful shout – a testament to the skill and tenacity of the Aith crew, and the excellent partnership working at sea. We are all pleased to have our efforts specially recognised by the RNLI, which is a charity very well supported in Aith – and all across Shetland.”

The awards of commendation were presented to crew members over the festive period at the Aith lifeboat station’s annual social evening.

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