The inspirational community story of the Leverburgh Lifeboat

The dedication and hard work of the volunteer Leverburgh RNLI crew is discovered through the BBC ALBA documentary.
The dedication and hard work of the volunteer Leverburgh RNLI crew is discovered through the BBC ALBA documentary.

A DOCUMENTARY to be aired tonight (Monday, November 5th) tells the inspirational story of a community coming together and raising a crew to go our in the worst weather to save lives at sea, as they aim to go ‘live’ by Summer 2012.

‘The Leverburgh Lifeboat’, produced by island-based MacTV and part of the BBC ALBA documentary series Trusadh, screens on the Gaelic television channel at 9pm

and captures events in the establishment of the first new Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) all-weather lifeboat station in over 20 years at Leverburgh, Harris.

Communities around the South of Harris have long been campaigning for a lifeboat to be stationed at there.

Hamish Taylor, one of those involved, says: “We carried out research on the present situation.

“The number of lifeboats there are, the distance they cover and the benefits of having a lifeboat station here. We found out that this was the largest area in the UK without lifeboat coverage.”

But with only a small local community, there were many challenges ahead, as Hamish points out: “The first thing we had to establish was if they were to get a lifeboat here, did we have enough people in the community to crew it.”

And it appears that Harris did, as the RNLI have approved a trial period for the Leverburgh Station for at least one year.

This is the first all weather lifeboat station that the lifesaving charity have set up in over 20 years and, in the Trusadh doc, the 17 brand new volunteer crew members have a lot of work ahead of them.

A few have experience working on boats, however the rest of them have very little knowledge of the sea.

‘The Leverburgh Lifeboat’ film-crew follow them over the months of preparation and training leading up to the big day itself – the arrival of the new RNLI lifeboat on May 11th, 2012.

Trusadh: The Leverburgh Lifeboat will also be repeated tomorrow (Tuesday, November 6th), at 10pm on BBC ALBA, Sky 168 and Freeview Channel 8.