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Kirkwall History

1968 The cruising Clyde class lifeboat, 70-002 Grace Paterson Richie, was based at Kirkwall for trials during the winter of 1968–9.

1969 Following the Longhope lifeboat disaster in March the lifeboat operated from Kirkwall and maintained coverage of the Pentlands Firth area.

1972 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Staff Coxswain Robert Dennison for rescuing 20 men and saving the Danish fishing vessels Rosslea, Anne Strange, Clupeid and Kari. The vessels had broken adrift in hurricane force winds and a very rough sea on 8 November 1971.

 The lifeboat station was officially established on 30 May and the lifeboat was moored in the harbour.

1984 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain William Swanson Sinclair after the lifeboat rescued the three crew and saved the fishing vessel Benicia, which was stranded amongst rocks during a storm with driving snow and a very rough sea on 22 January.

1988 The Arun class lifeboat Mickie Salvesen was placed on service.

1989 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain William Swanson Sinclair for rescuing two crew and saving the bulk cement carrier B C Mercurius which had broken down and was drifting in a gale and very rough seas on 13 September 1988.

A new mooring berth was dredged as the old berth, used by the Clyde lifeboat, was unsuitable for the Arun class lifeboat because of the lack of depth.

1990 A new shore facility was built providing a general purpose room, workshop, changing room and toilet/shower facilities.

1996 Deputy Launching Authority Jim Mitchell was awarded an MBE.

1998 The new Severn class lifeboat Margaret Foster was placed on service on 26 March.

1999 A Doctor’s Vellum was awarded to a local GP, Doctor Peter Fay, who went out on the lifeboat in a force 9 strong gale, a heavy swell and very rough seas on 10 September. Doctor Fay and Crew Member Robert Hall were transferred onto the rig support vessel Stream Truck, where a crew member had suffered a heart attack. Despite suffering severe sea sickness Doctor Fay aided by Robert Hall, stabilised the man’s condition.

2000 One notable call out was to search for a missing diver from the Endeavour on 21 January. The Coxswain and crew used their local knowledge of the tides to search outside the initial search area and the man was eventually found 10 miles away from his last known position in severe gale force 9 winds and 5m swells. The Coxswain and crew received a Letter of Appreciation from the Chief of Operations.

2004 A new pontoon berth was completed in January.

Station honours

At Kirkwall lifeboat station the following awards have been made:

Bronze Medal 3

 

 
     

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Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Registered Charity 209603

 
     
 

© Kirkwall Lifeboat Station 2010

Design by C. R. Irvine