Throwback footage shows Broughty Ferry lifeboat crews in action 60 years ago

A series of rare photographs has given a snapshot of life at Broughty Ferry Lifeboat Station 60 years ago.

The footage was unearthed from the Daily Mirror library and shows how tough life was for the city’s rescuers.

They show both the Ferry lifeboats – the Robert and the reserve vessel “City of Bradford II” – moored alongside the quay in November 1960.



Crew of the reserve Broughty Ferry City of Bradford II lifeboat, returning to Dundee station after its first trials in the River Tay, Scotland, February 1960.

The Mirror photographer was on hand to witness the Bradford’s first sea trials on the River Tay in February of that year.

Other photos show deckhands John Robertson and Alex Gall working with archer Alex Dorward on board.



John Robertson and David Lyon, both deckhands on the Broughty lifeboat, respond to an emergency call at Broughty Ferry lifeboat station, Dundee.

Another photo shows John and fellow deckhand David Lyon responding to an emergency call.

Broughty Ferry Lifeboat Station has a very colorful history.

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The first lifeboat was stationed at Buddon Ness in 1830 by the River Tay Lifeboat Society.

It was supported by a tax on ships entering the Tay.



Andrew Mitchell (engineer) chats with coxswain Gall in the wheelhouse of the Broughty Ferry lifeboat in Dundee as it prepares to go to sea. 2nd February 1960

On 8 December 1959 the lifeboat Mona, first stationed at Broughty Ferry in 1935, was launched using the lightship North Carr which had been reported adrift.

The weather conditions were exceptionally severe with a strong south-easterly gale blowing across the entrance to the River Tay.

Some navigational buoys had been driven out of position by bad weather.



Broughty Ferry’s new lifeboat ‘The Robert’ moors alongside reserve boat ‘City of Bradford II’

In the early hours of the morning, the lifeboat unfortunately capsized and its crew of eight drowned.

Two weeks after the disaster, a new crew had been selected and a rescue boat, City of Bradford II mentioned above, had been laid down.

A new Watson-class motorized lifeboat, the Robert, built at a cost of £35,500, was commissioned, replacing the rescue lifeboat, in 1960.

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