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Exmouth RNLI volunteers assist local Scalloper at the end of a busy week

Lifeboats News Release

At 5pm on Thursday 16 March, volunteers on a Shannon Launch and Recovery System (SLARS) training exercise were diverted to assist a local fishing vessel with a rope wrapped around its propeller at the entrance to the river Exe.

Exmouth's Shannon class lifeboat assisting local fishing vessel

Exmouth RNLI

Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn towing Scalloper into the river Exe

Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn took over the tow from another fishing vessel at the safe water mark and towed the Scalloper to a mooring in the river Exe. Volunteers returned to the exercise at 5.40pm.

On Monday 13 March, two Crew volunteers made up a passage Crew to take relief Shannon class lifeboat 13-12 Cossandra on passage from Cardiff to Torbay (Brixham), with only one stop at Newlyn for fuel. The Crew arrived on Exmouth beach on Tuesday mid-morning, where relief Shannon Launch and Recovery System (SLARS) SCT-01 had already been delivered in readiness. Whilst some planned maintenance was taking place on Exmouth’s Shannon 13-03 R and J Welburn, Cossandra was on service at Exmouth lifeboat station.

Between Tuesday and Thursday, the Lifeboat Trials team tested a new prototype of Shannon carriage on Exmouth beach. Designed by Supacat, based in East Devon, the new non-powered design would save our charity vital funds to run at future beach-launched Shannon class stations with less challenging terrain.

Cossandra left on passage to Poole at 3pm on Thursday 16 March and the relief SLARS left on two low loaders by road shortly afterwards. Volunteers proceeded to train on Exmouth’s Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn to give probationary Tractor Drivers additional training, when the Scalloper called for assistance.

Lifeboat Operations Manager, Kevin Riley commented:

‘We would like to thank the community for their patience last week. Our station was chosen to host the trials as we are the closest beach-launched Shannon class lifeboat station to our headquarters at Poole.

‘During the week, we’re pleased to report that Crew volunteers Paul Balbi and Andy Stott have now passed out as Mechanics; two trainee Tractor Drivers are close to passing out and after six months as trainee Shore Crew, another volunteer will be progressing to trainee lifeboat Crew soon. This week has proven that training and trialling new kit is continuous and we thank the volunteers, especially their understanding families and employers, for taking on extra duties.’

Notes to Editors


PR180317 Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn towing Scalloper in difficulty.

Cossandra was funded from donations during an appeal in 2015. In total, 14,000 donors paid an amount to display their names on the lettering on the Shannon class lifeboat's bow.

For more information please telephone Emma Tarling, Exmouth RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07837 810082 or email:

Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn towing local Scalloper

RNLI/Emma Tarling

Tow of local Scalloper - view from inside the wheelhouse
Local fishing vessel being towed by Exmouth's Shannon class lifeboat

Exmouth RNLI

Exmouth RNLI Coxswain Steve Hockings-Thompson towing local Scalloper into berth

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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.

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