Town turns out to remember

The current Arbroath lifeboat crew prepare to lay a wreath to remember those who died in the Arbroath lifeboat disaster 60 years ago.
The current Arbroath lifeboat crew prepare to lay a wreath to remember those who died in the Arbroath lifeboat disaster 60 years ago.

A large crowd gathered at Arbroath lifeboat station on Sunday to mark the 60th anniversary of the town’s lifeboat disaster.

Early on October 27, 1953, RNLB Robert Lindsay with a crew of seven on board, was making its way back to the harbour after a search for a vessel reportedly in distress when they were struck by a huge wave.

Six of the seven crew perished that day including coxswain David Bruce; Harry Swankie, mechanic; Thomas Adams, bowman; as well as William Swankie, and brothers David Cargill and Charles Cargill.

On Sunday, the 60th anniversary of the tragedy, the current lifeboat crew paid their respect to their past colleagues by launching the all-weather lifeboat RNLB Inchcape, and laying a wreath at sea.

Watched on by a large crowd, boat was launched at 3 p.m. and after a simple service on board by the station minister Alistair Morrice, the wreath was laid close to the spot where the tragedy occurred.

And Arbroath lifeboat operations manager Alex Smith says it is important to honour the bravery of the men, who lost their lives that fateful day and he thanked everybody else who turned out to pay their own respects.

He said: “The number of people who came down today is a mark of how this community was, and continues to be, affected by the Robert Lindsay disaster.

“We are fortunate to have a very close bond with our local community here at Arbroath lifeboat station and on behalf of myself and the rest of the crew I would like to thank all those who came to pay their respects.

“Although a sad occasion and a time for reflection it was also an opportunity for us to pay tribute to the bravery and selflessness of those who were lost that day.”