Tributes pour in for 'brave' Scots RNLI crew member and 'instantly recognisable' legend

Noll Togneri
-Credit:RNLI Dunbar

Tributes have been flooding in following the death of a Dunbar RNLI legend, Noll Togneri.

Noll, who passed away this week, was remembered as an "instantly recognisable" figure who saved his friend's life when he was just 16 years old.

He was a member of the Dunbar lifeboat crew and later served as the Deputy Launch Authority (DLA), known for his readiness to help out, share words of wisdom and encouragement, and recount historical stories about Dunbar.

In a heartfelt tribute on social media, RNLI Dunbar revealed that they only learned of Noll's heroic act in 2022 after his close friend Joan, whom he had saved, left £14,000 to the station in her will following her death.

They wrote: "We were all extremely saddened to hear of the loss of former Dunbar RNLI crew member Noll Togneri, who passed away this week.", reports Edinburgh Live.

"Arnold 'Noll' Togneri was an instantly recognisable figure around the town not least for his fondness to walk everywhere barefoot and was always willing to lend a hand, pass on gentle words of wisdom and encouragement, or share historical nuggets and tales of Dunbar.

"To illustrate the kind of person Noll was, when he was 16 he helped save the life of his friend Joan Scambler, then 14, after the canoe she was in capsized off East Beach back in April 1965.

"Joan and her friend Linda Sinclair had borrowed the canoes from Noll and a friend. Conditions had been calm but quickly the girls got into difficulties. While Linda managed to reach the shore, Joan was struggling to control hers.

"Grabbing a canoe, Noll set out to help, while his friend alerted the coastguard. Noll reached Joan but as he tried to turn her canoe towards shore it capsized sending her into the water.

"She tried to hang onto the stern of his canoe but it too sank, leaving them both in the water. Although they were being blown further out, Noll managed to keep Joan afloat until Dunbar's lifeboat crew in the Watson-class lifeboat Margaret arrived."

"Both Noll and Joan spent the night in Dunbar Cottage Hospital at East Links but were none the worse for their ordeal".

Following his bravery, Noll was awarded an inscribed watch, which he received from Princess Marina, the Duchess of Kent - following on from his father who previously received an inscribed silver half hunter pocket watch for saving someone from the harbour mouth when he was 16.

RNLI Dunbar added: "Thanks to Noll's bravery and the swift action of the lifeboat crew, Joan went on to live a full life, excelling at hockey and swimming and becoming a popular musician and singer in the town."

"From all at Dunbar Lifeboat Station, our sincerest condolences go to Noll's family and friends. Our thoughts are with you."

"Fair winds and following seas, Noll. You will be much missed and fondly remembered."

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