A SCOTTISH Borders lifeboat station in the largest diving area in the UK has made two dramatic rescues in the space of a week despite being just days from closure.

The RNLI charity is determined to shut down the St Abbs station on September 8, despite fears lives will be put at risk.

The closure faces opposition and from the Scottish and British sub aqua clubs, the National Trust for Scotland, the local community and politicians.

A petition against the closure has attracted over 10,000 signatures.

Yesterday, the volunteer crew was called out to save three kayakers who got into trouble just off the shore behind the harbour wall after one of the group capsized.

The elderly man’s kayak was heading for the rocks when he was spotted and helped back to safety by the St Abbs crew. The rescue came days after they saved a fisherman who was being swept out into sea on a rubber ring.

Crew committee member Euan Gibson said: “The lifeboat the RNLI don’t need have been called out twice in the past week.

“The first one was a fisherman who was being blown out to sea by the high winds on a rubber ring he was using to fish closer to the shore.

“He drifted out of the harbour, turned a corner and got caught in a five knot tide and was getting pulled out to sea.

“Luckily he had a radio on him and was able to make contact when meant we were able to launch the lifeboat quickly and pick up.

“Then there was the most recent incident where three kayakers went out to sea and headed south.

“The wind really picked up as they were on their way back and one of them capsized over the back of the harbour, two of the three were reasonably elderly and he was struggling badly to get back into the kayak.

“By the time we got to him in a matter of minutes his companions had managed to get him back into the kayak but he was utterly exhausted and the lifeboat stood by until he was safely back in the harbour.”

RNLI chiefs said the decision to close the historic lifeboat station was not about money and that it was being closed for “operational reasons”.

However, in a fresh statement the RNLI said it would be too costly to keep St Abbs open and that cover would be provided by the Eyemouth crew five miles away.

Gibson added: “Here we have two pretty serious incidents happening close to the harbour within days of each other and timing is what saves lives.

“The Eyemouth crew would have taken a lot longer to get there and who knows what could have happened.”