Day 62 Thurs 5 May : Today, on reaching Arbroath, I met Ron Churchill, the oldest serving full time Lifeboat Cox’n/Mechanic. He is responsible for keeping one of the thirty remaining Mersey Class Lifeboats in peak condition. After 24 years on service, the boat still looks great. After a few more years than that, Ron’s not looking too bad himself, despite being even older than me. Just 12 days my senior.
Sadly in 1952, the year of birth we share, Arbroath Lifeboat suffered it’s worst loss of life in a single incident. Six of the crew of seven lost their lives after the Lifeboat capsized, having been launched in stormy seas in response to reported distress flares. In over 200 years of service, Arbroath lifeboat crews have received many awards for galantry, including medals for rescuing crew from a stricken vessel in 1940 whilst still under attack from a German aircraft.
With those sobering thoughts still in my head, there’ll be no more cursing and muttering about the continuing battle into the wind. On to Broughty Ferry, today’s next port of call. More on this station after my return to pick up Fondo from the beautifully restored and upgraded boat house in the morning.