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RNLI Torbay lifeboat tour interrupted by rescue of injured fisherman

Lifeboats News Release

A group of 20 people celebrating a Silver Wedding with a tour of Torbay lifeboat station got more than they bargained for at the weekend when the lifeboat was called out.

RNLI/Vicki Bowen

RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat returning with casualty

As the lifeboat station siren sounded in Brixham, 10 people aboard the Severn Class all-weather lifeboat were swiftly moved ashore and volunteer lifeboat crew began arriving. The visitors re-joined others touring the boathouse and learning about the inshore lifeboat as the situation unfolded on Saturday 11 November.

The all-weather lifeboat quickly launched, tasked to attend a fisherman injured on board a trawler moored at the port. The lifeboat crew were on scene within minutes and moved the casualty from the ocean-going trawler onto a stretcher for transfer to a land ambulance outside the lifeboat station.

It was a reminder that - even during pre-planned visits - Torbay’s two lifeboats remain fully operational at all times, with the onshore team conducting the tour trained to clear the way at a moment’s notice. Once Saturday’s tasking was complete, the visitors were eventually able to resume their tour with a very realistic view of how the RNLI team swings into action when a ‘shout’ comes in!

RNLI/Vicki Bowen

RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat approaches the pontoon with casualty aboard

RNLI/Vicki Bowen

RNLI Torbay volunteer lifeboat crew being preparing to bring casualty ashore

RNLI/Vicki Bowen

SW Ambulance Service staff ready to receive casualty on the slipway

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