Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...
Both Broughty Ferry lifeboats launched following reports of clothing found on the Tay Road Bridge this morning. The crews leaped into action just after 6am after the report was made. The inshore lifeboat was launched at 6.20am. The all-weather lifeboat, Elizabeth of Glamis, was launched a short time later. Both were quickly on scene. Following an extensive search of the area on both sides up to Kingoodie the crews then searched near to the shore from Dundee to Broughty Ferry, however no one was found. The lifeboat crews were then stood down. Both boats returned to base around around 8.45am where they were made ready for any further call outs.
A woman has been pulled from the Tay by the Broughty Ferry lifeboat crew. The RNLI launched at around 20:50pm on Thursday after reports that a 17-year-old had entered the water near Discovery Quay. She was picked up on the crew's inshore boat. Police, ambulance and coastguard teams also attended the scene. The woman was returned to Broughty Ferry in an all weather boat before being taken to hospital by an ambulance. A spokesman for HM Coastguard said: “We paged two RNLI lifeboats which were despatched from Broughty Ferry, and coastguard teams attended from Carnoustie and St Andrews. “The woman was retrieved from the water and returned to the lifeboat station.”
They are the everyday heroes who help keep the coastline safe for us all. The crew of the Broughty Ferry lifeboat may laugh and joke with one another as they sit inside their headquarters but everything becomes deadly serious the moment they take to the water. When charged with the responsibility of saving lives in often treacherous conditions, nothing less than 100% focus will do. And as Broughty Ferry has been confirmed as the busiest lifeboat station in Scotland in 2011, the dedication of this crew is tested more than any other in the land. Despite the sacrifices they often have to make, saving lives has become a way of life for many in the team a fact perfectly illustrated by coxswain Murray Brown. With 21 years' experience on the Broughty Ferry boat, he knows his actions can be the difference between life and death. ''Every time the pager goes you know that someone is trouble,'' he said. ''I was a volunteer at first but became full-time just over four years ago. ''Of course there are sacrifices but you take them as part of the job. I think the people of Broughty Ferry sees us as a part of their town. They see us out and about and know who we are and that's nice.'' The crew were kind enough to take myself and Courier photographer Kris Miller, whose pictures you see here, out on the Tay in the larger Trent Class lifeboat. Despite the perfect conditions, it is easy to imagine how hard it must be to conduct rescue work in even a slight breeze. The first sensation to hit you is the noise, with the 860 horsepower produced by the twin diesel engines proving deafening at times. That power is put to good use, however, with new propellers helping the vessel to reach speeds of up to 25 knots. What was surprising was the feeling of stability as we made our way down the river. Fears of an unwelcome reunion with my breakfast were quickly allayed, allowing me to learn a little more about the crew and their reasons for volunteering. Peter Hay has been saving lives on the Tay for 24 years. I asked him what goes through his head when the alarm is raised. ''I guess it's a mixture of emotions concern, anticipation, even excitement in a strange way. It's just good to give something back to the community though. I've got two young boys and I work in the Ferry as well so I do have responsibilities. ''My employer is very understanding though and that is fantastic.'' Although a sophisticated and modern service, simple traditions continue to be honoured by the Broughty Ferry RNLI team. As we made our way back to terra firma a blue ribbon blew in the breeze from the station flagpole the sign of a new arrival in the family of a team member. Thomas Graham Rentoul, born last week to crew member Donald and his partner Laura, already has an extended family at the lifeboat station it would appear. That sense of unity will be equally important in what promises to be an equally hectic 2012. The record-breaking year saw Broughty Ferry named as Scotland's busiest lifeboat station in 2011. Crews at the station were launched 104 times last year and spent 523 hours at sea attending to people in distress. The two boats, an inshore inflatable and larger Trent Class all-weather boat, saved nine lives over the 12-month period and ensured the safety of countless others in some of the country's most inhospitable waters. Over a third of the launches took place in the hours of darkness with five missions conducted in gales in excess of force seven. Including time spent on the water conducting training exercises, the Broughty Ferry boats spent 1,151 crew hours at sea. Paul Jennings, the RNLI divisional inspector in Scotland, said: ''It is particularly notable that during December we had four spells of stormy weather with winds from force 10 to 12 and yet our crews still launched, as they always do whatever the weather.'' Around 20 lifeboats were launched each week in 2011 with 1,006 operations resulting in the rescue of 847 people in Scottish waters. The Arbroath volunteers were scrambled on 31 occasions and the Montrose boat launched 20 times. Lifeboats in Fife were busier still with the crews at Anstruther and Kinghorn taking to the water 41 times each, assisting 48 people.
Dundee Sailing Club is set to review the safety of its events after two boats capsized over the weekend. Broughty Ferry lifeboat volunteers had to rescue an upturned vessel from the Tay just off The Stannergate on Sunday. Its crew were taken to safety by the club’s own rescue team, while the other boat was able to recover and get back to shore without additional help. The windy conditions were believed to have caused the incident, which did not cause any injuries to the crews. Duncan Heather, Club Commodore, said: “Everyone's fine and in good spirits. “The boat - a Wayfarer sailing dinghy - sustained some rigging damage but nothing too serious. “We had a number of boats out for a club event as, despite the strong conditions, we felt we had prepared the boats well, with experienced helms and reefed sails. “However two boats did capsize in the strong wind, with one recovering to the shore near the club, but the second one had trouble righting, so the crew were eventually taken onto the club safety boat and taken ashore. “The club safety boat was re-crewed and went out to find and recover the dinghy, but it was the smaller lifeboat rib that found the floating boat - upside down, lots of waves, so hard to spot. “We stuck around and did the final tow back to the club, but the lifeboat crews on both their boats were fantastic and the boat owner was very relieved to get his boat back. “The buoyancy tanks had flooded so it was impossible to right and was towed slowly upside down to the Fife shore before being bailed out and re-floated right way up. “We'll be reviewing the safety aspects of the event from a club perspective, though most of the sailors out reported an exhilarating sail.” The RNLI were alerted to the incident at around 1.20pm and by 4.05pm the capsized vessel had been recovered and taken back to the sailing club.
Lifeboat crews rushed to rescue a stricken motor boat near the mouth of the Tay on Wednesday morning. Both Broughty Ferry RNLI lifeboats were launched at 10.15am in response to an emergency call to assist the boat after its engine failed while travelling from Arbroath to Broughty Ferry. The two crew members, who were unharmed, were transferred to the lifeboat and taken to the shore. The five metre boat began to experience engine problems while approaching the bar at the mouth of the Tay. It changed course and headed for Buddon Point before its engine failed. The lifeboat team found the worried crew just over half of a mile east of Buddon and North of the Gaa Sands. The vessel, which was undamaged, was also towed back to Broughty Ferry Lifeboat Station. The successful operation was completed for 3.45pm with both boats made ready for any further calls.
The Broughty Ferry lifeboat was launched at 3pm on Sunday after a 28ft yacht with four seasick crew members on board lost power at the mouth of the Tay. The yacht was on passage from Arbroath to Tayport when its engine overheated and power was lost. Second coxswain Peter Hay said: “The crew were suffering from sea sickness and due to the poor visibility which was down to approximately half a mile due to sea mist, they sensibly requested assistance via VHF radio to Aberdeen Coastguard. “Broughty Ferry lifeboat was tasked to locate them and after deploying two of our crewmen on to the yacht, the vessel was successfully towed back to Tayport Harbour where the lifeboat crew assisted in putting them safely and securely alongside. “This was a straightforward service for the lifeboat and the yacht crew were appreciative of the assistance given.”
Stunning new photographic images are set to help the Broughty Ferry lifeboat service cut its response times during emergencies on the River Tay. A Skywatch Civil Air Patrol aircraft from the Scottish Aero Club at Perth (Scone) Airport carried out photo reconnaissance on behalf of the team at the RNLI station. The mission's objective was to photograph sandbanks along the Tay at low tide to assist the RNLI in determining safe routes for lifeboats during emergencies. The sandbanks are constantly changing and can pose a real hazard to the lifeboat crew as they save lives both on the river and out at sea. Skywatch pilot Keith Boardman was flying his Vans RV-12 aircraft, which he built himself in his garage over a two-year period. His observer and photographer, fellow Scottish Aero Club pilot Mike McGreavey, is also one of the RNLI duty launch managers. With the cooperation of RAF Leuchars and both Dundee and Perth airports, the mission was accomplished successfully. Keith said: ''We were attempting to find channels between the sandbanks that would enable RNLI lifeboats to take 'short cuts', saving vital minutes during emergencies. ''Our photographs and video film will now be analysed by the RNLI and we hope that this will enable future call-outs by the lifeboat to be made as expeditiously and safely as possible in the Tay estuary.'' Their efforts will prove invaluable to crew at Broughty Ferry and in time to all who take vessels out into the Tay. And lifeboat operations manager Dave Martin said he and his colleagues were delighted with the assistance offered by Skywatch. ''Many years ago we had a study of the sandbanks carried out but they can shift quite dramatically and are constantly affected by the weather,'' he said. ''The Abertay Sands, off Tentsmuir Point, are particularly dangerous both for people walking and for boats, which can easily run aground. ''If we have to send a boat out to St Andrews or, as we did on Wednesday of last week, head out to investigate reports of a vessel run aground, it is important that we know roughly where the sandbanks are so that we can safely negotiate over and around them. ''The banks are quite unlike normal sands and they are changing all the time, shifting as a result of the weather or as a result of all the development that is going on down the river, particularly at Dundee. ''They are far from flat and there can be 20-feet holes. In fact they can be like a small mountain range at times. ''If we know what is beneath us at low water and high tide then we will have a much better picture of how much time it will take us to get across. ''Although we have a depth sounder, it is handy to have a mental picture of what is beneath our boats,'' he added. ''We really are very grateful to Skywatch for their assistance.'' Once the RNLI team have had a chance to study the images and footage taken by Keith and Mike they will use the information to prepare a new training programme for the Broughty Ferry crew. The study will also benefit other river users as the RNLI's Sea Safety team will use the information on their regular visits to local yacht and boating clubs. The Skywatch Civil Air Patrol is a voluntary public service organisation comprising privately-owned aircraft, operated by pilots and observers who give their time and resources freely where aerial observation can bring direct or indirect benefits to the local communities in which they operate. The Lowland Unit, which has its headquarters at Perth (Scone) Airport, has been involved in a number of searches for missing people. Earlier this year it also joined the search for a humpback whale which had become ensnared in a fishing net.
Broughty Ferry lifeboat volunteers rescued an upturned yacht on Sunday after the vessel capsized on the Tay. Broughty Ferry RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews rushed to the scene after being alerted to the incident, just off The Stannergate at 1:20pm. Rescuers discovered the vessel submerged with its sails still raised. Its crew were both members of Dundee Sailing Club. It was initially feared the sailors, who were not with the boat, may still have been in the water. Concerned, volunteers quickly launched their larger all weather lifeboat, Elizabeth of Glamis, to assist with the operation. However, they quickly learnt both sailors on board were uninjured and had already been helped to shore by the sailing club's own rescue boat. A RNLIS spokesman added: "By 4.05pm the boat had been recovered and taken back ashore to the sailing club. "By 4.30pm both lifeboats had returned to station and were in a state of readiness for any further calls."
A man was rescued from the River Tay off Dundee in one of two incidents involving the Broughty Ferry lifeboat station at the weekend. He was seen in the water between the road and rail bridges about 12.15am on Sunday, and the alarm was raised. The RNLI’s two vessels were launched and the inshore craft reached him first. Crew members were able to pull him on board and then transfer him to the offshore lifeboat where he received first aid. The man, in his 20s, was taken back to the lifeboat station where a waiting ambulance took him to Ninewells Hospital. On Saturday afternoon, the inshore lifeboat was called the short distance to Broughty Ferry harbour where a female swimmer was in distress. The woman had been with a group of friends who had gone swimming to cool off in the sunshine. The friends came out of the water but the woman chose to stay in. Concerned for her welfare, her friends called the emergency services. Police and the lifeboat crew were summoned and the scene attracted onlookers whose presence caused the woman to become more upset. She then composed herself and came safely out of the water as the inshore lifeboat arrived. Police said she had been drinking alcohol but was unscathed by the episode.