RNLI Torbay lifeboat crew rescue stricken cruiser anchored by pot ropes
During unseasonable wet and windy weather on Monday 15 May, the RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat Alec & Christina Dykes was tasked by HM Coastguard to assist a 36’ motor cruiser which had snagged pot lines and was held fast to the ocean floor after setting off from Dartmouth.
The lifeboat crew arrived promptly and tried various methods to free the vessel including gently towing the her free (which proved too dangerous) then using a grapnel (or grappling) hook to free the twisted rope; however this proved impossible when the line being used parted due to the weight of the two boats. RNLI Torbay lifeboat Coxswain Mark Criddle said: ‘eventually volunteer lifeboat crewman Nigel Crang put on a dry suit and helmet and, by reaching down towards the snagged propeller from the diving platform on the cruiser, was able to use a knife to gradually cut the vessel free which was an extremely tricky operation in the conditions.’
The Severn Class lifeboat volunteer crew were then able to attach a tow line and safely return the stricken vessel to the mouth of the River Dart, then putting her alongside the lifeboat to continue safely into Darthaven Marina for repairs.
This incident clearly demonstrates how quickly situations at sea can change and the incredibly valuable work down by the RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews.
Notes to editors
Video footage taken during the rescue
Credit: RNLI/Torbay Lifeboat
Photograph shows the 36’ cruiser coming into Darthaven Marina alongside Torbay RNLI all-weather lifeboat Alec & Christina Dykes
Photo credit: Andy Kyle, Dartmouth
Torbay Lifeboat Station Key Facts:
- Torbay lifeboat station has been operating since 1866. To learn more about the station go to: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeboat-stations/torbay-lifeboat-station
- Coxswain of Torbay Lifeboat is Mark Criddle
- Further information on Torbay Lifeboat Station’s local activities can be found at: http://www.torbaylifeboat.co.uk/
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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.
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