Models donated to Arbroath RNLI commemorate lifeboat tragedies

​Lesley Murphy and husband Paddy delivered the models to the Arbroath station.​Lesley Murphy and husband Paddy delivered the models to the Arbroath station.
​Lesley Murphy and husband Paddy delivered the models to the Arbroath station.
Arbroath’s lifeboat crew received a poignant gift recently in time for the 70th anniversary of one of the station’s most tragic days.

Volunteers received the generous donation of two model lifeboats recently, one of RNLB Robert Lindsay and the other of RNLB Mona, which were donated by Lesley Murphy on behalf of her father, Tom Webster, who had painstakingly recreated both lifeboats in fantastic detail.

The donation of the RNLB Robert Lindsay model is particularly touching for everyone at the lifeboat station. The vessel was stationed in Arbroath when, on October 27, 1953, it was launched on service in high winds and rough seas.

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Tragically, disaster struck with the loss of six brave crewmen when the lifeboat was capsized within sight of the harbour while returning to shore.

The lifeboat crew who lost their lives that day were David Bruce (Cox), Harry Swankie, William Swankie, Tom Adams, David Cargill and Charles Cargill

To mark the 70th anniversary of the disaster, on Friday Arbroath’s lifeboat crew will lay wreaths at sea and at the gravesides of those lost, before attending a public memorial service at the West Kirk which has been organised by former members of the Lifeboat Guild.

The history of RNLB Mona is also steeped in tragedy.

On December 8, 1959, the Broughty Ferry lifeboat capsized with the loss of all eight brave crewmen on board.

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Donating the models, Lesley said: “I desperately want dad’s models to be appreciated and not stuck in a cupboard!

"I’m so glad they will be on display for people to enjoy and appreciate his work, especially with the anniversary of the Robert Lindsay disaster coming up.”

Ron Churchill, lifeboat operations manager at Arbroath, expressed his thanks on behalf of the lifeboat crew, saying: “We are so grateful to Lesley and her family for donating these model lifeboats.

"They are a remarkable tribute to the lifeboats and their tragic history. They will be cherished by everyone here at Arbroath lifeboat station and kept on display so they can be enjoyed by everyone.”

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