Lifeboat Helen Smitton's False Alarm

On Friday 6th April 1917 the St Abbs lifeboat Helen Smitton attended a distress call.

Lifeboat Helen Smitton's False Alarm

On Friday 6th April 1917 the lifeboat Helen Smitton attended a false alarm. The local paper reported,

On Thursday word was received from the Coastguard Station St Abbs Head that minute guns were being fired at sea off the Head, and it was presumed that some vessel was distress. The regular crew of the lifeboat were all off at sea, but in a very short time a volunteer crew was smartly launched, and proceeded to sea in the direction indicated. It was then discovered that the firing was due some other cause, and the boat returned to harbour. The Berwick Advertiser, Friday 13 April 1917.

Four days later the paper reported,

Regarding launch of St Abbs Lifeboat Friday week, a correspondent writes us that it was very smart bit of work. With great promptitude, James Wilson, Signalman, at our Lifeboat Station, fired the rocket, and there was immediate response. In 4½ minutes the fine motor lifeboat was out and at sea, and covered 2 miles in 13 minutes. Great credit is due to Coxswain John Wilson and his crew and to Motor man Thomas Cormack, who had the engines in such fine order for a sudden call. Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 17 April 1917.

It should not be forgotten that this shout took place during WW1, so it required great bravery to attend an unidentified distress call.

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