Anstruther’s lifeboat is celebrating 30 years of saving lives at sea.
Bryan Adams was celebrating his seventh week at number one with Everything I Do, I Do It For You when the Mersey-class lifeboat sailed into the Fife town.
And since its arrival on August 21, 1991, it has launched 492 times to people in need.
A total of 552 people have been rescued and at least 39 people owe their lives to the RNLB Kingdom of Fife.
The previous Anstruther lifeboat had been in service since 1965 and its top speed was just eight knots.
Add to that the fact its deck was open to the elements, it meant an unpleasant experience for both the crew and those they pulled on board.
But the new lifeboat halved the response time while also providing shelter.
The pier was lined with cheering supporters as then coxswain Peter Murray sailed the modern lifeboat into the harbour.
He recalls: “I joined the RNLI in 1961 and was here for the duration of the Oakley’s time in Anstruther.
“Being coxswain of the Mersey class lifeboat that day was incredible.
“It is probably the best thing I’ve ever done in my lifetime.
“I felt 10-feet tall bringing her into Anstruther.”
New coxswain leading Anstruther lifeboat team
Looking on from the shore was one of Anstruther lifeboat’s newest volunteer recruits Michael Bruce.
He had just joined the RNLI at the age of 16.
Fast forward 30 years and Michael now leads the team on board the Mersey class as coxswain.
And in a continuation of tradition, he will sail a new Shannon class lifeboat into Anstruther in a few years.
Michael has spent more than 637 hours at sea on rescue missions, saving 21 lives.
He said: “Looking back to 1991, I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d have the honour to lead this team of volunteers aboard the Mersey here in Anstruther.
“Sailing under the command of Peter Murray was instrumental for me and my development.
“I’m extremely proud to be coxswain of this lifeboat 30 years on and continue to save lives at sea.”
The Anstruther crew has taken part in a wide variety of rescues in the last three decades.
Back in 1991, the volunteers rushed to the aid of a fisherman in Anstruther harbour after his boat was destroyed in a gas explosion.
Then in 2013, they located a missing diver who was separated from his group near the Isle of May.
And four years later, the crew saved the life of a young boy who had fallen more than 20ft from cliffs near Elie.
Fundraising for new lifeboat station
Anstruther lifeboat is still trying to raise £100,000 for a new lifeboat station in the East Neuk town.
The current station is too small to accommodate the new Shannon class boat and the fundraising will provide a purpose-built boathouse.
It will also include a new slipway, training area and education hub.
An RNLI spokesman said: “As we raise a glass to the Mersey and all who’ve sailed on her, we reflect on the 492 rescues she has completed.
“We celebrate with the 552 people she has aided and are thankful for the 39 lives she has saved.”