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RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat launches to yacht drifting onto rocks

Lifeboats News Release

Torbay’s RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew launched at the request of HM Coastguard just before 4pm today (Tuesday 9 May) tasked to assist a yacht without power drifting dangerously close to rocks off Berry Head

RNLI/Richard Fowler

Yacht preparing to be taken in tow by RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat

The 28’ yacht - with three people on board - had snagged a lobster pot marker and lost power as a result, and with a 3-4’ sea swell in the Bay the vessel was in danger of running onto nearby rocks.

Brightly-coloured passenger ferry Torbay Clipper (operated by local company WeFerry) was in the immediate area and went to the vessel’s assistance, attaching a short line to drag the yacht clear of the rocks and hold her safely until the Torbay all-weather lifeboat volunteer crew arrived to secure and recover the vessel. Another yacht in the area also went to assist, but was not needed.

The RNLI Torbay lifeboat crew arrived quickly and attached a line, enabling them to tow the yacht safely until she was handed over to the Brixham Marina launch for onward return to her berth at Brixham. The three casualties on board remained unharmed during the event, and the lifeboat was stood down and released to return to station at around 4.45pm.

Torbay Clipper recently co-operated with RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat in a simulated rescue exercise, never expecting that just a couple of weeks later they would be able to assist in a real-life drama!

Notes to editors

Attached photographs show:

(1) RNLI Torbay Severn Class all-weather lifeboat ‘Alec & Christina Dykes’ preparing to tow the 28’ yacht to safety (photo credit: RNLI/Richard Fowler)

(2) Torbay Clipper passenger ferry which assisted in the rescue (photo credit: WeFerry)

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 Brixham

WeFerry Torbay Clipper which assisted in the rescue

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.

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