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Schoolgirl RNLI volunteer in first callout from class

Danielle Marr rushed from high school science lesson to help broken down vessel.

Teenage Hero: 18-year-old Danielle Marr with fellow volunteer Louise McNicoll.
Teenage Hero: 18-year-old Danielle Marr with fellow volunteer Louise McNicoll. Martin Macnamara, Anstruther RNLI.

A teenage RNLI volunteer had to leave her high school science lesson to help a broken down vessel on her first emergency call out.

Danielle Marr, who is in her final year at Waid Academy in Anstruther, Fife, rushed to the Anstruther lifeboat station to assist a 28ft vessel that had suffered mechanical failure off the coast of Crail, Fife.

The 18-year-old, who has been volunteering with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for several months, arrived at the station at around 10.40am on Wednesday where she was joined by fellow volunteers.

From there they set off to assist the rescue operation, returning to Anstruther at around 1.30pm.

Miss Marr, who has permission to leave school to help those in difficulty at sea, carries a pager to alert her to emergency calls.

And she was in class assisting a younger pupil when her pager sounded for the first time.

The teenager, whose older brother Anthony has volunteered at the station for 12 years, said it all went to plan.

She said: "It was a strange feeling as it's the first time I have heard the pager go off in school and the teachers and staff were great to allow me to exit so quickly.

"The shout itself went exactly to plan as we regularly practise towing the all-weather lifeboat with our D class and vice versa, so it wasn't the first time that I had worked on this task, but it certainly was a different feeling doing it in a shout scenario."

Mother-of-two Louise McNicoll, 30, another new volunteer, was also involved in the rescue on Wednesday.

And like Miss Marr, she has also been fine tuning her skills in training exercises.

During Wednesday's rescue they secured a towing line to the casualty vessel under the supervision of the coxswain and senior crew before the short journey back to Anstruther harbour.

Ms McNicoll said: "I was getting my son ready for nursery when my pager sounded. I had the added extra of dropping my son at my mum's house on the way to the station.

"It was great to see the training we practise put into action and having my first shout alongside Danielle was an added bonus.

"The senior crew assisted us in what we had to do and all in all it was a job well done."

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