New helmsman for RNLI Lerwick Lifeboat
Stephen Manson started today as the new full-time helmsman for Lerwick Lifeboat, replacing Darren Harcus who has taken on the role of another helmsman with RNLI.
Stephen, 29, from Lerwick, originally trained as a car mechanic and has more recently been employed on work boats in the local salmon industry.
Stephen has been part of the Lerwick Lifeboat volunteer crew since October 2018 and will now work full time at Lerwick Lifeboat Station with responsibilities for crew training and station administration, alongside the engineer of full-time lifeboat Ian Harms.
Stephen will undergo additional training over the next few months, including boat handling, advanced navigation and search and rescue planning. When he has completed his training and obtained his coxswain’s diploma, he will then take command of the lifeboat during the next launches.
Darren Harcus has been a full-time coxswain at Lerwick Lifeboat since 2018. He was recently appointed full-time Resilience Coxswain for the North of Scotland, providing emergency coxswain cover for RNLI lifeboat stations whenever required.
Originally from Westray in Orkney and with a background in the whitefish industry, Darren’s family lives in Lerwick, and he is still a volunteer crew member on the Lerwick Lifeboat when he is at home in the Shetlands.
There are also a small number of experienced volunteer crew members who are qualified as second assistant coxswains and can take on the coxswain role when required.
Malcolm Craigie, Director of Lifeboat Operations at Lerwick Lifeboat Station, said: “I am delighted that Stephen and Darren have both been appointed to these full-time positions – they are both experienced and capable members. of our lifeboat crew. We rely on full-time crew members to train and support our volunteer crews and to keep the lifeboat ready for launch 24/7.”
The charity RNLI saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service on the coasts of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The RNLI operates 238 lifeguard stations in the UK and Ireland and over 240 lifeguard units on beaches in the UK and the Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of the coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its lifesaving service. Since the RNLI’s inception in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved more than 142,700 lives.
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Members of the public can contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.