RNLI Torbay crew join multiple emergency services for simulated ferry fire

Lifeboats News Release

A large number of Torbay’s emergency services joined forces on the morning of Saturday 15 July to carry out a large scale simulated rescue operation designed to test the response to a fire incident on board passenger vessel Liberty Lass at Torquay Marina.

RNLI/Nigel Millard

RNLI Torbay crew working with a simulated casualty during the joint exercise

The RNLI volunteer inshore and all-weather lifeboat crews were joined by SW Ambulance Service, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue, HM Torbay Coastguard, Devon & Cornwall Police, Torbay National Coastwatch Institute, representatives from Torbay Sea School and Bayside Marine Chandlery alongside staff from Torquay’s MDL Torquay Marina in a huge joint operation which simulated a fire breaking out on board a passenger ferry, Liberty Lass, resulting in multiple 'casualties'.

Coxswain of RNLI Torbay lifeboat Mark Criddle said: ‘We had some relatively new crew members on board the lifeboat. This was their first big exercise which involved dealing with ten very realistic casualties and really putting them in at the deep end in terms of handling such a big incident alongside other agencies, and presented a fantastic training opportunity.'

Mike Smith, Manager at MDL Torquay Marina said: ‘The exercise was very successful and we wish to thank all the agencies involved. The idea developed from working with local RNLI Coastal Safety Officer John Turner. We always find the whole RNLI team in Torbay brilliant, and Coxswain Mark Criddle fabulously supportive.'

All agencies involved gained valuable insights into managing such a major event and tackling the joint working involved. Torbay’s seagoing community can certainly feel reassured by this type of emergency planning.

RNLI notes to editors

VIDEO CLIP OF EVENT: (courtesy of MDL Marinas, Torquay)


EVENT PHOTO ALBUM: (courtesy of MDL Marinas, Torquay)


RNLI TORBAY PHOTOGRAPHS: (courtesy of Nigel Millard, RNLI Torbay)

4 still photographs showing the lifeboat alongside Liberty Lass during the event:

  1. Simulated casualties on board RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat
  2. Torbay RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew attending ‘casualties’
  3. Torbay all-weather lifeboat Alec & Christina Dykes approaching Liberty Lass
  4. Alec & Christina Dykes alongside Liberty Lass

Torbay Lifeboat Station Key Facts:

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RNLI/Nigel Millard

Torbay RNLI all-weather lifeboat Alec & Christina Dykes approaching casualty vessel Liberty Lass

RNLI/Nigel Millard

Torbay all-weather lifeboat alongside casualty vessel Liberty Lass with simulated fire

RNLI/Nigel Millard

RNLI Torbay volunteer lifeboat crew attending 'casualties' on the all-weather lifeboat

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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.

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