View as PDF

Torbay RNLI lifeboat crew to ‘rescue’ ferry passengers off Brixham

Lifeboats News Release

It will be all systems go for RNLI volunteer crew in Torbay early tomorrow morning (Sunday 23 April) when a local ferry laden with passengers will strike an imaginary underwater object and suffer engine failure - beginning to take on water - in a simulated training exercise.

RNLI photo library

Severn Class RNLI Torbay lifeboat 'Alec & Christina Dykes'

The passenger ferry will be steaming from Paignton to Brixham when the staged incident will occur around 8.45-9am in the region of Elberry Cove, giving the volunteer RNLI Torbay lifeboat and ferry crews invaluable training in dealing with such an emergency.

Richard Fowler, Second Coxswain for Torbay’s RNLI lifeboat, has organised the training event in conjunction with WeFerry company owner/operator John Ford to test the two crews’ reactions to such a scenario.

It is expected that the RNLI all-weather Severn Class lifeboat Alec & Christina Dykes will attend the staged emergency call out, though both crews will be unaware of the full extent and nature of any ‘injuries’ on board. The resulting evacuation of passengers and any multiple first aid requirements will offer an excellent training scenario for both ferry operators WeFerry and the RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew. The Marine & Coastguard Agency and Torbay Harbour Authority will also be aware of what is happening.

‘Casualties’ on board the ferry (who will have to be up early on Sunday!) are drawn from staff working for various local Rockfish restaurants and others connected with the local fishing and sailing community, all of whom are keen to help ensure safety at sea.

Notes to editors

Attached photographs show the RNLI all-weather lifeboat Alec & Christina Dykes and the passenger ferry Torbay Clipper (owned and operated by WeFerry):

Further information and photographs will be released following this exercise

Key Facts about Torbay lifeboat station:

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Victoria Bowen, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07794 043 428 -, or contact Amy Caldwell, RNLI Public Relations Manager (South) on 07920 818 807 - or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789


WeFerry passenger vessel 'Torbay Clipper'

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland