One of Kinghorn Lifeboat's most stalwart volunteers has finally decided to retire. Fred Evans (57) has been involved with the lifeboat since 1987 when he was only 40.
This is not the first time Fred has had to retire, as the maximum age for remaining on the Inshore Lifeboat is 45. After 5 years on the then 'D' class lifeboat, he faced his initial retiral. Fred, however, refused to leave and started up the first ever shore party at Kinghorn.
This was the first time that the crew had been effectively split, with the formation of the tractor drivers which allowed the lifeboat crew to return and get warmed up, whilst the shore crew refuelled and checked the boat ready for its next launch.
With the move from the old shed to the purpose built 'house' and the changeover to a brand new Atlantic 75 the fastest in the RNLI fleet, in 1995, Fred continued to lead the shore crew with Health and Safety and shore based training high on his list.
Fred could be regularly seen on the patio above the crew, casting his critical eye over their launching and recovery procedures.
Charlie Tulloch, the Honorary Station Secretary said, "Fred has given up many years of his own time to be here and assist with the Lifeboat, both as Lifeboatman and Shore Crew. Fred realises that the Shore Crew are just as important as the Lifeboat Crew. Without either, the Lifeboat would never launch. I would just like to thank Fred, and of course his long suffering wife Mary for allowing such a sacrifice to the Lifeboat."
Fred who was presented with a bronze statue of a lifeboatman from the crew and a citation from the RNLI, said "I am sad to be leaving, but unfortunately my health no longer allows me to continue. I have enjoyed my last 17 years with the Lifeboat enormously but I will still come around now and again." He added with a wry smile, "And woe betide them if I see any shoddy launching! I have promised to come along for the Open Day to help out and I am only a phone call away...!"
RNLI volunteer crews are funded entirely by donations and provide a 24 hour service around the coast. Kinghorn Lifeboat will hold its annual Open Day on Saturday 17th July 2004.