HUNDREDS of supporters took to the streets of St Abbs fishing village in the Scottish Borders in protest over the looming lifeboat station closure.

More than 300 people including community safety minister Paul Wheelhouse and new SNP MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk Calum Kerr, turned up for the weekend’s “Show Your Support” walk.

St Abbs is the largest diving area in the UK and the beauty of the shoreline attracts hundreds of tourists but the crew fear that the lack of a lifeboat will put people off visiting.

Despite warnings that the closure would also put lives at risk from the crew, locals, politicians, the National Trust for Scotland and the Scottish Sub Aqua Club, the RNLI has vowed to carry on regardless and move the operation to Eyemouth, almost five miles away.

The crowds marched through the streets from the local primary school down to the harbour in a show of support for the crew and the local community which relies heavily on tourism and watersports for its survival.

Crew committee member Euan Gibson said: “About 300-odd people, including Paul Wheelhouse, Calum Kerr, along with our Conservative MSP John Lamont marched from the school down to the harbourside in our Show of Support walk.

“The weather was pretty bad but we managed to get out at about 3pm when the clouds cleared and the sun came out. It was so fortunate.

“It went very well but we still have heard nothing more from the RNLI.

“It has galvanised people into keeping up the fight more than anything else. Our MPs and MSPs were very impressed with the level of commitment and the turnout.

“We are not going to give up the fight and the RNLI must know some of these big organisations, when you get people like that, a charity that relies on public donations should be making more of an effort to listen to these people. That is the feedback that we are getting from a lot of people that they are amazed and disappointed at the lack of engagement from the RNLI.

“We are a lifeboat station that costs so little to run in the grand scheme of things and we have shot down all their arguments for closure. We are still baffled as to why the RNLI are digging their heels in.

“It is the guys on the ground that they are really letting down and the level of support we are getting from other crew members all over Britain is incredible. This is not a few people locally jumping up and down.”

An online petition against the proposed closure of the site has gathered more than 4,000 supporters to date.

The RNLI has said the change is about having the “right assets in the right place”.