As Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew were preparing for Thursday (24 March) evening's exercise at 6pm, they had just completed briefing and were in the process of kitting up when they were paged to an incident on Lundy Island.
The call was to assist Lundy Coastguard to evacuate a 71-year-old male with a broken arm. The lifeboat launched and made best speed given the prevailing weather conditions which were poor with wind direction WSW force 6 and low cloud.
The volunteer crew's training on the navigation kit aboard the Shannon was put to good use in the conditions to safely make landfall at Lundy Island. Helicopter 187 was also tasked and arrived on scene approximately 10 minutes before the lifeboat but could not land due to the low cloud on the island. The visibility was one mile at sea level at Lundy with mist.
The lifeboat was moored alongside the jetty and a crew member went ashore to assess the casualty and take a hand over of the casualty from the Lundy staff. The casualty was brought onto the lifeboat and made comfortable for the return passage to Ilfracombe.
The passage to Ilfracombe was made at a comfortable speed for the casualty in the conditions. When at Ilfracombe, the lifeboat was moored alongside and the casualty handed to the ambulance personnel.
Ilfracombe RNLI Second Coxswain, Carl Perrin, said: " It was a good result, the casualty needed to be transported as safely as possible. The volunteer crew got to put much of their diverse training into practice."
On Thursday 31 March at 3pm, the lifeboat crew were paged again, this time to a call from a member of the public who had spotted what was thought to be a dinghy off Foreland Point.
The volunteer crew had our relief Shannon Reg launched and underway in a very short time. Search patterns were implemented and a thorough search was made.
Coxswain, Andrew Bengey, said: "It was a call with good intent , we found the object thought to be a capsized dingy washed ashore. It was rope and discarded fishing gear, which from a distance in the surf, could have looked like a dingy."
Note to editors
Photo shows the relief Shannon class lifeboat at Ilfracombe after returning from the latest shout. Credit Ilfracombe RNLI/Sam Burbridge.
RNLI Press Contacts
Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer Press Officer, Jane Perrin- 07980707515/01271 855565
Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer Deputy Press Officer, Howard Thomson- 07808 166473
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.