The first chance to see inside the nerve centre of search and rescue in the Western Isles will be on Saturday (August 17th).

Stornoway Coastguard operations room will be opening its doors to the public for the first time since the major refit of the station three years ago, and all the island emergency services will be gathering to show off the technology and teamwork that keeps the islands safe.

Visitors will be able to see at first hand the state-of-the-art technology and expert operators at work, speaking to the teams who provide search and rescue on a local, regional and national basis – 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Apart from Maritime Operations Officers staffing the centre itself, Coastguard Rescue Teams will also demonstrate their rescue equipment and capabilities. They’ll be joined by partner teams from Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance, Fire Scotland, the RNLI, Hebrides Mountain Rescue and the Salvation Army, all of whom work together during incidents large and small.

Vehicles and appliances will be out in force to show off their capabilities, and the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter and Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat will also provide a demonstration during the afternoon. Trainers from the Eilean Siar Lucky2Bhere team will be giving CPR instruction.

For fishermen and other mariners, fishing vessel surveyor Pat Bonner will be on hand to offer safety advice and the Coastguard’s secure store will be open to receive out-of-date flares.

The whole event will be at HM Coastguard Station in Stornoway from 1-4pm on Saturday, and everyone who wants to know more about search and rescue is encouraged to come along.

The picture shows Stornoway CRT team manning the helicopter landing site alongside Scottish Ambulance on their 50th call-out of the year last weekend. (Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team).