Posted Fri 14th Oct 2022

The Skipasund Foundation is celebrating the arrival of a new B-Class inshore lifeboat at the RNLI’s Macduff Lifeboat Station in Scotland.

The new lifeboat has been funded by the Foundation and supporting the RNLI in this way has been a lifelong ambition of Skipasund Founder Haraldur Agustsson.

Talking about the importance of the donation, Haraldur says:

“I was born in Iceland and grew up in Shetland, next to the sea, where the fishing industry and lifeboat stations were a central focus of the community. My family worked in the fishing industry, a fish processing plant and latterly managed a salmon farm on the islands, and so the dangers of the sea were ever present.” Indeed, Haraldur’s first focus in business on his own was supplying equipment, primarily safety equipment, to these industries in Shetland.

Haraldur adds: “As an amateur sailor when younger, the lifeboat serving our races was critical, although quite different from the RNLI who, together with the Coastguard, put their lives at risk every day just the same as other frontline services.

“Although I thankfully never had to call on their bravery, to know that the RNLI was there for us was just huge. The value of what they do is enormous. I would like to thank the crew at Macduff – and RNLI crews around the country – for what they do willingly and voluntarily for us every day of the year.”

The boat is named Skipasund for the family foundation. Haraludur explains: “Skip means ship in Icelandic, and sund means sound or inlet.”

Skipasund Lifeboat in the Water
Skipasund Lifeboat in the Water

Skipasund was in production for three months at the RNLI’s Inshore Lifeboat Centre on the Isle of Wight, and recently completed its sea trials.

Macduff Lifeboat Station has a volunteer crew of 20 people and is one of the oldest stations in Scotland, dating back to 1860. Flanked by two all-weather lifeboat stations, Fraserburgh to the east and Buckie to the west, Macduff has the only inshore boat in this area.

Henry Weaver, the RNLI’s Area Lifesaving Manager, North East Scotland said: “On behalf of everyone at Macduff Lifeboat Station, we are delighted to welcome our new B-Class Lifeboat, Skipasund. We cannot thank The Skipasund Foundation enough for their generosity in funding this amazing lifesaving asset for our crew and the community we serve.”

The B-Class Atlantic 85 which serves Macduff is the largest of RNLI’s inshore boats. Designed to operate in shallower water, the B-Class can also handle fairly challenging open sea conditions too: force 7 near gale winds in daylight and force 6 at night. The B-class lifeboat is one of the fastest in the fleet, with a top speed of 35 knots powered by two 115hp 4-stroke engines.

A dedication and naming ceremony for the new Skipasund lifeboat will be led by the RNLI and held in Macduff in June 2023.

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