RNLI Eyemouth on an Exercise
A photographic series documenting the Eyemouth, Scotland RNLI station on an exercise on 7th August, 2016.
The RNLI are a charity that have historically guarded the United Kingdom’s coastline. The crew is mostly made up of local volunteers. As a result there is a wide range of people from fishermen to office workers.
Eyemouth is a historic fishing port traditionally used by smugglers. Gunsgreen House, a large smuggler’s home with many secret and inventive storage places for tobacco and tea leaves, overlooks the harbour and stands directly behind the RNLI station.
Eyemouth harbour, Scotland. The station’s lifeboat can be seen in the center of the image.
View from the back of the all-weather Trent class lifeboat. The in-shore D class lifeboat can be seen to the left of the image.
Door to the engine room
2nd Coxswain and Mechanic Adam Ferguson in the all-weather Trent class's engine room
2nd Coxswain Adam Ferguson and 2nd Mechanic Martin Dougal on a Tea break from doing checks on both boats and waiting for the exercise later in the day.
Adam watches recordings of previous shouts to see if any are worth putting on the RNLI video database. He then receives a pager test and records it with his phone to put on Facebook later.
Adam plans the evening with an aspiring Coxswain who was going to captain the in-shore D class lifeboat. The crew never know what will be asked of them on a training exercise.
Someone has to stay behind to take the call and alert the Coxswain on the boat if a real shout from the coastguard comes in.
A crewman prepares the all-weather Trent class lifeboat.
The wake of the Trent class all-weather lifeboat. The engine is so powerful that it has created a fine mist that, as the sun is low and strong, has refracted the light and we see a small rainbow.
The in-shore D class lifeboat rides in the wake of the all-weather Trent class lifeboat so simulate rougher seas.
The in-shore D class lifeboat comes alongside the all-weather Trent class lifeboat to simulate the transition of a person rescued.
A drogue is deployed. A drogue is a large bag used to steady the rear of the boat in rough seas.
Two crewmen relax on the way back to the harbour.
The team head back to the harbour.
A fishing boat has a broken rudder that is stuck to the right. They are right at the mouth of the harbour and will float into sharp rocks if not towed right away.
‘Our Catherine’ is towed away from the harbour entrance
The boat is heavy and the power of the all-weather Trent class lifeboat will break the fishing boat’s fixings so a homemade suspension rope is thrown. The rope is made up of two ropes, tied either side of a tire. One side is attached to the fishing bat and the other to the lifeboat
A moment of held breaths as the captain of ‘Our Catherine’ accelerates to try to avoid plowing in to the harbour wall but too much as he almost crashes into the other side. A crewmember steps in front of me and tells me, “The line might snap”. The in-shore D class lifeboat can be seen through the fishing boat’s tent tied to the rear to act as a makeshift rudder.