Aberdeen RNLI recently celebrated Stuart Gibb passing out as coxswain and Grant Gregor as mechanic on the city’s all-weather lifeboat, Bon Accord. The pair were involved in three shouts on Aberdeen’s coastline this weekend.
Stuart Gibb, 28, passed out as coxswain in late July and the multiple callouts Aberdeen RNLI received over the weekend were his first shouts since taking on the new role. Stuart joined the RNLI in Aberdeen in 2012 as a crew member, before passing out as helm of inshore lifeboat Buoy Woody 85N in 2016.
The coxswain role is responsible for the safety of all the volunteer crew members on the all-weather lifeboat. Speaking to Stuart, he said: “Coxswain was a natural progression from helm and involved a lot of training and assessments to pass out. While the coxswain is responsible for the safety of everyone involved in a shout, it’s a team effort at the end of the day.”
Grant Gregor, 22, is Aberdeen’s youngest mechanic and passed out just weeks after Stuart. Having been involved in powerboating and sailing since the age of 10, Grant joined the crew three years ago, at 19.
The mechanic on board is responsible for all communications while at sea while also maintaining systems and machinery onboard throughout the shout. Grant said: “I have a keen interest in the mechanics and machinery of the lifeboats. Combined with the fact I am a mechanic to trade, working as a mechanic day-to-day, this felt like the right path for me through the RNLI.”
For the all-weather lifeboat to launch, both a coxswain and mechanic are required. Aberdeen’s current coxswain/mechanic, Cal Reed, spoke to the hard work and commitment of both Grant and Stuart, saying: “Both volunteer crew members have put in a lot of time, work and dedication to complete all the necessary training and exams to qualify. I know I speak on behalf of all of our volunteer management group and crew when I say that we’re so proud of them both.”
The duo was involved in a triple shout over the weekend, totalling 5 hours at sea. The first two were investigating the sightings of flares, where both boats were eventually stood down and the third involved a multi-agency response.