Arbroath lifeboat’s new coxswain has arrived on station to close an unhappy chapter for the local crew and fulfil a personal ambition harboured from a young age to perform the lifesaving role.
Sam Clow from Sunderland is now on station to complete his training for the role of full-time coxswain/mechanic as the station moves on from events which fractured the crew and cost the long-serving former cox his job – as well as grounding the town’s all-weather lifeboat for months.
The Mersey-class Inchcape is now fully back in service alongside the inshore D-class Robert Fergusson.
Local RNLI chiefs hope to further bolster volunteer numbers for lifeboat and shore roles to set the station firmly on a positive course for the future.
One of the oldest stations in Scotland, having been established in 1803 – and the last in the country with a slipway – Arbroath was rocked late last year after it emerged a top-level RNLI investigation had been launched into claims of improper behaviour by some crew members in the presence of a visiting Dutch lifeboat crew.
Mr Clow, 24, said respect for the work of RNLI crews he saw at close quarters while growing up had inspired him to pursue a career with the organisation and grasp the Angus opportunity.
“None of my family have been involved in the RNLI but I joined the Sea cadets at the age of ten and have always been involved in watersports, so I’ve been around the water and having seen the work the RNLI do it was always something I wanted to get involved in,” said Sam.
He has moved from a helm role at Sunderland station, the busiest in the north east of England. Where he was a member of the crew for the past eight years.
Arbroath operations manager Alex Smith, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Sam to Arbroath and he’s received a warm welcome at the station.
“We have some young lads in training for the just now but can never have too many volunteers so hopefully we may be able to attract another four or six for the crew.”
Arbroath has also celebrated the long-service of Peter Willis, who joined the voluntary crew in 1998 as a trainee and is now a qualified helm.
Mr Smith added: “Peter’s a fantastic guy to work with, a great crew member, always turn up to training and shouts – he’s truly dedicated to the RNLI and our crew and well deserving of this recognition”.