Oldest lifeboat crew member takes up new role

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Scotland’s oldest lifeboat crew member has achieved further distinction by becoming the country’s oldest full-time lifeboat mechanic.

Arbroath RNLI volunteer Ronn Churchill snr., who is 61, replaces previous full-time mechanic Allan Russell who has taken up a position as coxswain with a global seismic company.

Having been second mechanic on Arbroath’s all-weather lifeboat RNLB ‘Inchcape’ for a number of years, Ron certainly knows his way around and is relishing his new challenge.

He commented: “The lifeboats have been a big part of my life for more than 30 years so to be given this opportunity at my age is fantastic and I can’t wait to officially get started.

“I already spend quite a bit of time down at the station so since I got the job I’ve been taking a fair amount of stick from the lads who reckon I’ll be moving my bed into the station before long!

“But in all seriousness, I’m very happy and I think the RNLI deserves credit for giving me this chance because all too often we hear negative stories about age being a big barrier and restricting opportunities for people.”

Lifeboat operations manager at Arbroath, Alex Smith, said: “I’m absolutely delighted for Ron who has been an excellent servant to the lifeboats here in Arbroath.

Since Allan Russell left the role to take up a new job, Ron has been very enthusiastic about the possibility of becoming the new full-time mechanic at the

station, so for him to be given the opportunity is fantastic and we all wish him well in his new job.”

Ron will officially take up his new role on Monday (December 2).