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Broughty Ferry RNLI welcome back visitors for first open day in three years

Nathan McIntosh, 4, from Arbroath with volunteer crew member Scott Kidd at the Broughty Ferry RNLI open day.
Nathan McIntosh, 4, from Arbroath with volunteer crew member Scott Kidd at the Broughty Ferry RNLI open day.

Locals from all over Tayside turned out to the first Broughty Ferry RNLI open day in three years.

The volunteer lifeboat crew welcomed back members of the public to speak to crew, see the lifeboats and learn about the history of the RNLI on Sunday afternoon.

RNLI volunteers Sandra Chalmers, Fiona Johnston and Michael Wilkinson serving up burgers at the open day.

Since Covid, the crew have been unable to host many fundraising events to raise money for the life saving charity.

But locals were ecstatic to be around the crew again and support them through donating cash to the cause.

‘Community boat’

The event is the last one Broughty Ferry lifeboat coxswain Murray Brown will host as he steps down after 30 years of service.

Murray said: “I started this a few years ago and I was amazed by the amount of people who see the boat but have never been on it.

“The community buy the lifeboat so it’s the community boat.

Broughty Ferry lifeboat coxswain Murray Brown hosting his last Broughty Ferry RNLI event.

“We’re lucky that we get to take the boat to see but it’s their boat as much as it’s ours.

“Loads of people come and say thank you and say ‘I’ve never, ever needed a lifeboat but we know you’re there.’

“It’s good to have a bit of payback to the crew and they’ll maybe say they don’t like it but they like it a bit.”

Finton Thomson, 6, taking a seat at the wheel of a coastguard van at the Broughty Ferry RNLI open day.
Finton Thomson, 6, taking a seat at the wheel of a coastguard van at the Broughty Ferry RNLI open day.

Murray said the crew have bigger things planned for the open days in the coming years.

“This car park is new for us, it was a very tiny before so we’re hoping maybe next year we can get the fire brigade down and make it a bit bigger, just a community event,” Murray said.

“Raising the funds are important but we’re also raising awareness about kids on beaches and you never know you might save some kids’ lives in the background.”

Raising awareness

Joined by the crew were the British Divers Marine Life Rescue who were also raising funds and spreading awareness of marine life safety.

Area Coordinator Paul Smith said: “We’re the primary responder for marine mammals so anything from the smallest seal from the biggest whale, we’ll deal with any rescues that happen.

“We use the RNLI a lot of the time for our safety cover, so if we’re out in the beach obviously it’s a dangerous environment so the crew keep us safe along with the coastguard.”

Divers Marine Life Rescue volunteers Paul Smith, area coordinator, and Karen Dowers, marine mammal medic.

Marine mammal medic Karen Dowers said: “It’s been three years and we’ve not been able to do any events.

“It’s good to get people thinking again what’s out there and recognising when sea animals are in distress, keeping your distance and getting our number out there.”

Many of the Tayside community came out to say hello to their local volunteers, including Karen Connor and her family who travelled from Inchture for the event.

Zara Connor with mum Karen, dad Brian and brother Struan at Broughty Ferry RNLI open day.

She said: “I think it’s important for the kids that they know if anything ever happened the RNLI would be the ones who come and save you.

“They will have missed so much for fundraising events so we thought we’d come down, we’re from Inchture and we came purposefully for this.

“It’s just good to be at these events again after two years of nothing.”

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