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Lifeboat tragedy crew remembered

8 December 09 11:52 GMT

Wreaths have been laid at sea in memory of eight lifeboatmen who died while going to the aid of a stricken lightship 50 years ago.

The crew of the Mona, the Broughty Ferry RNLI lifeboat, perished as they battled through a severe gale to reach the North Carr lightship.

The lightship had broken free from its moorings off St Andrews Bay in Fife.

Family and friends of the men presented wreaths to the current lifeboat crew, who took them out to sea.

The flag at Broughty Ferry RNLI lifeboat station was placed at half-mast as a mark of respect for the eight men.

Coxswain Murray Brown said the men would never be forgotten.

"Fifty years ago, eight local lifeboat crew headed out into a severe gale to go to the aid of the stricken North Carr lightship," he said.

"Tragically they never returned. Today we remember those men, who made the ultimate sacrifice, by laying wreaths from family, friends, the local community and RNLI out at sea as a mark of respect."

The men who died were Coxswain Ronald Grant, 28, Second Coxswain George Smith, 53, Bowman George Watson, 38, Mechanic John Grieve, 56, and his son John T. Grieve, 22, Assistant Mechanic James Ferrier, 43, Alexander Gall, 56, and David Anderson, 42.

The lifeboat went to the aid of the North Carr after an anchor cable snapped and it began to drift on 8 December 1959, but never reached the lightship.

The crew of the North Carr were rescued by two helicopters the following day.

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