THIS August, the Mersey-class lifeboat, RNLB Kingdom of Fife, is celebrating 30 years’ service in Anstruther. During this time, she has launched to those in need 492 times, rescuing 552 people and has saved 39 lives.

It is August 21, 1991. Bryan Adams’ (Everything I Do) I Do It For You is enjoying a seventh week as UK number one, and in Anstruther, a state-of-the-art lifeboat is arriving in her new home for the very first time. The pier is lined with cheering supporters as coxswain Peter Murray MBE and his crew sail the lifeboat into Anstruther harbour.

The arrival was hugely significant. The Oakley class lifeboat had been on service in the town since 1965. With the deck exposed to the elements and a top speed of eight-knots, this new lifeboat would provide shelter for the crew whilst halving the response time.

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Describing the day the lifeboat arrived in Anstruther 30 years ago, Murray said: “I joined the RNLI in 1961 and was here for the duration of the Oakley’s time in Anstruther. Being coxswain of the Mersey class lifeboat that day was incredible. It is probably the best thing I’ve ever done in my lifetime. I felt 10-foot tall bringing her into Anstruther.”

Looking on from the shore was one of Anstruther’s newest volunteer recruits, Michael Bruce. Bruce joined the RNLI in 1991, age 16.

Fast-forward 30 years, Bruce (below) now leads the team onboard the Mersey class lifeboat as coxswain and will sail the new Shannon class lifeboat into Anstruther in a couple of years’ time.

The National:

During Bruce’s time in the RNLI, he has spent more than 637 hours at sea on rescue missions, saving 21 lives.

Bruce said: “Looking back to 1991, I never in my wildest dreams thought that I’d have the honour to lead this team of volunteers aboard the Mersey here in Anstruther. Sailing under the command of Peter Murray was instrumental for me and my development. I’m extremely proud to be coxswain of this lifeboat 30 years on.”

The volunteer crew in Anstruther have taken part in a variety of rescues during the last 30 years. In the words of Bryan Adams back in 1991, “You know it’s true. Everything I do, I do it for you” – and the very same can be said for Anstruther RNLI in keeping those safe in and around the waters of Anstruther.