1911 saw the introduction of the first St Abbs lifeboat, the Helen Smitton (1911 - 1936). This vessel was superseded by:
Annie Ronald & Isabella Forrest (1936 - 1949)
JB Coupar of Glasgow (1949 - 1953)
W Ross Macarthur of Glasgow (1953 - 1964)
Howard D lifeboat, Relief Boat (1960)
Jane Hay (1964 - 1974)
In 1974 the lifeboat was replaced with the newly designed Inshore Rescue Boat. The present lifeboat, the Dorothy & Catherine Barr, is an Atlantic 21 class. Equipped with twin 50hp outboard engines, it has a top speed of 30 knots and a range of 45 miles.
St Abbs Lifeboat crews have a proud record, carrying out many courageous and daring rescues. These are logged on display boards throughtout the Lifeboat Station in the harbour, but only the hard facts are given, date, time and so on, there is no mention of the horrendous sea conditions at the time of many of these rescues.
For example, one rescue on 17th September 1972 simply reads; 'Canoes, two lives saved.' It was in fact a daring rescue carried out by the crew of seven, each of whom was later presented with framed letters of appreciation from the RNLI.
The awards went to; Coxswain James Wilson, 2nd Coxswain William Mills, Mechanic Fred Hardwick, and crew members Ian Aitchison, Sandy Crowe, Alistair Crowe and A Cowe Wilson.
Coxswain James Wilson also received the British Empire Medal for services to the RNLI. for having been coxswain for 21 years.
Guided tours of the Lifeboat Station can be arranged and an education officer is available to visit local schools to raise awareness of the vital role the RNLI plays in saving lives at sea.
The RNLI enjoys immense support from the local community and surrounding area. In 2010, St Abbs, with a community of 123, raised well over £10,000 for the cause.
2011 saw the St Abbs RNLI celebrate the Centenary of the Lifeboat Station. A great day was had by all, and it was a fitting tribute to all the volunteers that have risked their lives over the years to help those in distress at sea, but also some off - shore rock - climbers and walkers whom get into life threatening situations.
Main contact for the Lifeboat Station is Operations Manager Alistair Crowe.