It was a different SOS sent out by the Largs RNLI fundraising branch - when the guest speaker for their annual dinner had to pull out just a few days before the big event!

Volunteers and supporters of the local lifeboat service came together for their annual lunch at the Willowbank Hotel last week.

In her welcome, Cathy Holgate, who hosted the event, described her panic when she learnt just four days before that the planned speaker was not going to be able to attend.

But help was at hand and one of his team was sent instead and was very, very welcome!

She welcomed everyone else too saying that events like this keeps the RNLI afloat—“every single rescue, every new lifeboat, every life saved is down to your support”!

A quick quiz preceded an excellent lunch for which the hotel staff were warmly thanked.

Cathy then introduced the speaker, Paul Daly.

Paul joined the RNLI in 2008 after a lengthy career at sea and is now the Area Lifesaving Manager for Central West Scotland. He spoke about how the RNLI had developed over the years, gave some up to date facts about the service given by the Largs Lifeboat and told of future initiatives. He also showed an interesting and poignant video of the Longhope Lifeboat which marked the 50th anniversary of its sinking on a rescue with the loss of all the crew. It included how the widows and families from the small village where the crew came from bravely recovered and supported the appointment of another crew.

It was very well received and showed members that there are other costs apart from financial ones.

The vote of thanks was given by the new Branch Chairman, Linn Munton.

She said: “We had a great meal as usual, an excellent speaker, much chatter, an extensive raffle, and from the compliments as people were leaving, it was obvious everyone enjoyed themselves, and in doing so, made some money towards saving lives at sea.”

The lunch raised £900.

Pix: John Keachie