Lifeboat service axed due to ‘historic rivalries’

A lifeboat has been taken out of service due to “”historic rivalries” and a “lack of mutual trust” between its volunteers.

The RNLI described the decision to stand down a small number of crew members at Peterhead Lifeboat Station as a “last resort”, but has resulted in the vessel being temporarily axed.

It follows a recent meeting, attended by senior operational personnel, which saw some of the volunteers continue to show negative behaviours that have been challenged for many years.

The lifesaving charity said a long-standing lack of mutual trust, good communication and teamwork is so serious that the station is no longer capable of operating safely and effectively.

A spokeswoman said: “As an emergency service, the RNLI has a responsibility to ensure the safety of our crews, our partners and those whose lives we save.

“We can only help others if we work as a team and keep ourselves safe first.

“Maintaining high standards and adhering to required protocol and behaviours is the cornerstone of any emergency service.

“Trust between our crew members is an essential element of the lifesaving operation – our volunteers have to be able to rely on each other and work as a team when called out to deal with high risk and dynamic rescue operations.

“Unfortunately, some crew members have been unable to work together to put the lifesaving service before their own personal rivalries and historic disagreements, resulting in the decision that they can no longer remain as part of the crew.”

She added the RNLI is confident remaining crew members can work safely in the right environment and they are working towards this situation.

The decision to stop the service follows failed attempts to recruit new staff and volunteers.

Lifesaving cover is to be provided by flanking stations at Fraserburgh and Aberdeen, along with other non-RNLI assets, in the mean time.

The Coastguard has also been made aware of the situation.