SOME fowk dinnae really fash themsels ower muckle aboot the fact that we bide on an island, but for ithers bein on the coast has an incredible impact on foo they live their lives. Oor bonnie coastlines can bring us sae muckle jey – whether it be jist sittin on the saunds savourin a hattie fae ane o oor award-winnin ice cream shoppies on the ae day o summer that we get ilka ‘ear, or the revenue that is tane in thanks tae peyin tourists fa traivel fae far an wide jist tae hae their braiths tane awa bi oor stunnin shores. But as Ah’m sure mony coastal readers micht ken, bidin, or even spendin time aside the seaside can bring wi it tragedy an hertbrak ina.

An, fan it does, in the North-East, as in maist ither places across the kintra, we’re aye lucky tae hae the loons an quines fae the RNLI tae haun. Weel, we hiv been up tae noo onywye.

Uisually thare are 47 lifeboat crews operatin aroond Scotland’s coasts, but these last puckle o wiks thare has been ae less. The past 154 ‘ear hiv seen mair than a haunfae o notewirthy events at the Peterheid lifeboat station. It has hane numerous chynges tae it’s boathoose; in 1900, 1911, 1980 an 1999. It has been awardit ae gold medal, eleven silver medals an nine bronze medals for feats carried oot bi its crew members.

But, this month, thare his been a new, nae sae guid event tae add tae history o Peterheid lifeboat station. Blue Tooners hiv expressed their feelins o worry an fear since this month has seen a halt bein pit tae the uise o the Peterheid lifeboat, blythely kent as the Misses Robertson o Kintail, for the first time since the ‘ear 1865.

Fit why has this happent? Nae a lack o fundin, nor a lack o team members (fit micht be mair highly expectit considerin fit is askit o them fa volunteer). The Peterheid lifeboat is oot o order acause o the inability o its volunteers tae get on wi ane anither. In fact, the situation becam sae dour that a trained mediator has hane tae intervene, an has deemed the team nae safe tae wark thegither due tae a lack o trust, negative feelins an personal rivalries.

Acause o aa o this, certain members o the lifeboat crew hiv lost their position on the team for guid. The RNLI has announced that until they tak on new volunteers tae replace the anes that they hiv lost, they cannae keep up the usage o the lifeboat.

Athoot a doubt it isnae safe tae expect a team fa cannae be trustit tae perform thegither tae deal wi high-pressure scenarios far lives are at risk. Fooiver, ye div wunner whether it is ony better tae jist nae hae lifeboat team at aa.

Daes the community feel safer kenin that they cannae hae 100% faith in them fa they trust tae leuk aifter them an their watters, or kenin that thare isnae onybody affa nearby tae dae sae?

Evidently, thare has tae be some measures in place tae keep the watters aroond the Peterheid area safe whiles the Peterheid team isnae functionin. The Broch an Aiberdeen lifeboat teams hiv hane tae cam tae the rescue an will be pickin up the Peterheid team’s warkload for the foreseeable futur.

In ae wye it is affa guid o them tae agree tae dae sae (whether or nae they had ony say on the maiter is anither question). On the ither haun, this solution, in itsel, micht cause problems amongst members o ither lifeboat teams in the lang run.

We maun nae forget that maist members o oor local lifeboat crews are volunteers wi a full-time job an faimily commitments. An increase in caw-oots wad potentially cause an increase in stress an feelins o bein owerworkit. If that was tae happen, ither lifeboat crews coud be at risk o losin members ina. They will hae tae be canny in order tae prevent a domino effect. The last thing the North-East needs is yet anither local lifeboat team oot o action.

An then ye hae the practicality o it aa. Thare is nae denyin that the current lifeboat setup in the North-East jist isnae gaun tae be the maist effective the noo whiles the Peterheid lifeboat is aff the scene.

Jist the wik afore the crew was telt they wernae fit tae operate, they were cawed oot twice tae attend tae incidents. Sae it isnae as though they arenae in need. In some cases, time is aathin. Time can be the difference atween life an death. The lifeboats haein tae traivel tae Peterheid fae further afield – 15 mile fae the Broch an 25 mile fae Aiberdeen – coud hae consequences o a serious kyne.

Then ye hae tae tak intae accoont the fact that the lifeboats, nor the crews can be in twa places at ance. In ither wirds, the suiner the Peterheid crew are back up an runnin, the better.

Foo drearifu it is, that a group o grown adults, fa obviously care aboot their local community (itherwise they wadnae be involved in the RNLI in the first place) an fa are supposit tae be a team, cannae pit their differences aside for tae keep fowk safe an livin. We maun aye be gratefu tae hae men, an weemen, across the kintra fa will gie up their free time, an pit their lives at risk tae help ithers, an howp that it’s nae ower lang until we hae a new an improved lifeboat team up an runnin in the Blue Toon. In the meantime, we jist hae tae be thankfu kenin that the crews fae the Broch an Aiberdeen lifeboats are gaun tae dae their best tae leuk aifter the Peterheid neuk as weel as their ain.