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-   -   MRI Stonehaven closing down (http://www.rib.net/forum/f30/mri-stonehaven-closing-down-53425.html)

martini 19 February 2013 12:26

MRI Stonehaven closing down
Storm-hit Maritime Rescue Institute in Stonehaven set to close | Aberdeen & North | News | STV

Crazy that a world renowned asset like this can be allowed to disappear down the plug hole with all that knowledge and experience along with it. :nonono:

Alex MRI 21 February 2013 09:47

It's good to see a post supporting us here at MRI. It has been a rough few months and we are saddened that it has come down to a point where the doors are closing.

future_sailor 12 March 2013 11:38

What will be happening to the boats, mainly MRI 40?

Al Baker 13 March 2013 02:49

Really sorry to see that.
I partook in several trainings there.
It was a second to none place that's for sure.
Thanks for posting the link.

RIB-Teccie 13 March 2013 03:40

Worked there for 9 Years, including my apprenticeship, very sad, given that every storm where someone was in trouble MRI was there free of charge. This included Suicides, boat breakdowns, & cliff falls. Not to mention all the training given which helped at Piper Alpha, Brent Spar Helicopter Ditching, British Trent and all of KNRM. Also the training given to Greenpeace which prevented the Spar being dimped in the sea. The boat handling at times was fearless and some of the craft should not have been out in those seas, the boats were pushed to the limit & beyond. Yet when the storm hit MRI, no one bothered to save them. In fact not so sad as an absolute F@@&&&&, disgrace for a wealthy part of the world, to abandon this internationally renowned organisation.

Al Baker 13 March 2013 04:04


Originally Posted by RIB-Teccie (Post 522198)
Also the training given to Greenpeace which prevented the Spar being dimped in the sea.

We never actually had any Brent Spar specific boat training. Spar was just another direct action at sea. We did however train there a fair bit over the years. Training alongside Thames police, oil industry guys, special forces, customs and excise and lifeboat men. We all trained there together.

The current Greenpeace Global standard rib training is based on a lot of the MRI teaching methods and exercises. We were fortunate enough to have the Honorable Mr Robbie Carr from MRI spend a good deal of time working on that program with us.

two stroke mick 13 March 2013 04:41

I thought that MRI was a training school only, did it also provide an unofficial rescue service?

Al Baker 13 March 2013 04:54


Originally Posted by two stroke mick (Post 522209)
I thought that MRI was a training school only, did it also provide an unofficial rescue service?

It did indeed. Not sure it was unofficial though.

RIB-Teccie 13 March 2013 05:12

It was a declared SAR station. Everyone who went out was on a voluntary basis, this included the staff & locals. The base effectively ended the RNLI D Class which was there until 1979??. The most memorable rescue was the towing of the Elegance fishing boat in 1984. Without the P36, which was being refitted. The Arctic 24 with twin 85yams, towed the boat in horrendous conditions about 20 miles. The helicopter winch man broke his ankle at Stonehaven Harbour. The A24 was a P24 converted in 1978 and is the same craft as today's MRI 24. The P36 was a new build prototype which was converted to p drive from stern drive in mid to late 84. The building that stands today was opened in 1984. The Old portacabin facility operating from 1977/8 was washed away in storm as they were moving in. Ironically it was a storm which ultimately closed down the organisation as its known today.

RIB-Teccie 13 March 2013 07:27

Forgetting my history.

Stonehaven was originally RGIT (Robert Gordon's Institute of Technology) it partnered the Offshore Survival Centre in Aberdeen's two facilities at King Street and at N Esplanade E. it was Government funded. Because of a certain amount of autonomy, the Aberdeen establishments were not so keen on Stonehaven and in 1987 when RGIT privatised under Thatcher's reforms, Stonehaven went it separate path and became MRI. The problem was always the facility as the overhead was huge compared to the turnover as other companies such as Maritime Rescue Services (set up by 3 RGIT Instructors in 1985 were keen to undercut MRI by offering on site training on the Standby Boats. MRI was dealt a blow when the clients started to demand poorer quality one stop shop type training, where you could jump in a pool on day one, totally encoded craft on day 2 and FRC on day 3 etc. In my work now I still see a glaring need for highly competent boat handlers, and although much improved, there are still some yahoo's out there who damage craft unnecessarily. MRI became a charity with the slightly different institute tag, but lack of funding and the damage to the newly bought training craft killed it. In my own opinion, MRI's craft & ideas were cutting edge at the time, with BFT fenders, casualty nets and early shock mitigation seating. This was cashed in on by others and what was cutting edge became yesterday's news. There was no money to invest in developing things taken for granted now. Apologies for hogging the thread, but whatever happens a need for a world class facility still exists in the NE of Scotland. Preferably in Stonehaven.

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