Hundreds defy rainy weather to support a fantastic RNLI Torbay Seaside Special

Lifeboats News Release

Large crowds braved early rain in Brixham on Sunday 12 August to enjoy a day packed with fun and activities for RNLI Torbay’s biggest fundraising event of the year.

Chris Slack Photography

RNLI Torbay all-weather and inshore lifeboat crews during Sunday's Search and Rescue demonstration

Seaside Special day followed a week of fundraising activities which began on 31 July and included Walk the Extra Mile, Cover the Flag, Quiz Nights, Coffee Mornings, an Angling Contest and daily lifeboat tours – a massive fundraising effort by the Torbay team!

The big day itself, Sunday 12 August, began with 65 competitors (including Stormy Stan!) setting off at 9am for the annual ‘Two Lighthouse Run’ (along the breakwater to Brixham lighthouse, then up to Berry Head Lighthouse before returning). This event continues to grow in popularity, with prizes and all runners being offered a photo on the all-weather lifeboat when they return.

From 10am, the Paddle Grand Prix got underway which saw 12 teams of 4 battle it out in the drizzle and seawater with kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. Semi-finalists then switched to rafts specially constructed by the lovely Grenville House Adventure Centre staff. All-girl team Grumpy Teens (all aged 15) defeated Oarsome Foursome in the grand final; several teams included lifeboat crew offspring who must have inherited an attraction to the water!

Visitors were tempted by delicious hot food from Ron’s BBQ throughout the day, with the lifeboat crew wives and girlfriends providing delicious teas and cakes from the WAGs Tea Room (housed in the inshore lifeboat shed!) whilst the nearby bar catered for those needing something stronger than tea! Craft, retail and information stalls lined the area around the slipway, where activities such as Canoeing and Zorbing were also on offer.

The RNLI Torbay Community Safety team offered advice on staying safe in and around the water to 70 people, and carried out 25 lifejacket safety checks. A staggering 472 people enjoyed guided tours aboard the TWO Severn Class all-weather lifeboats which graced the pontoon - Torbay’s own Alec & Christina Dykes returned just in time for the event, and was moored alongside relief vessel Volunteer Spirit – quite a sight!

The Sound Stage offered live music throughout the day with 7 bands mixed with Bollywood and Zumba displays. By lunchtime, the rain eased off and crowds swelled to fill the area around the lifeboat station and line the beach and breakwater ready for the Search & Rescue demonstration.

Following thrilling displays of Flyboard (with Spider Man and Wonder Woman!) and a Jet Bike display, the RNLI Torbay all-weather and inshore lifeboats staged an amazing demonstration for the crowds - including the rescue of Breeze FM’s Matt Rogan and his daughter Isla! Teignmouth lifeboat The Two Annes was due to join her Torbay colleagues as usual, but was tasked to a 'shout' … however spectators were treated to a (literally!) flying visit from the Coastguard Rescue AW139 helicopter which flew in from St Athan in Wales, only to be immediately diverted to an emergency - the lifeboats and helicopter all remain ‘SAR capable’ (available for rescues) throughout the day.

Fishermen’s Mission Superintendent Matt Skinner led a moving Service of Dedication below the boathouse at 6.30pm, accompanied by the wonderful Brixham Town Band. Following the service, supporters continued the annual tradition of purchasing candle lanterns to settle on the breakwater and beach as dusk fell to await the fireworks.

At 7.30pm, 177 guests set sail on a tickets-only cruise aboard local vessels Clipper and Western Lady to enjoy an atmospheric voyage around Torbay with delicious canapes served by the lifeboat crew, and an exhilarating surprise ‘fly past’ by the RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat at close quarters. Inshore lifeboat Leslie & Mary Daws also came alongside, with lifeboat crew boarding the ferries!

Live music continued on the stage with headliners RAGE, and the evening ended with a truly spectacular 17-minute Grand Firework Display by Firemagic UK, kindly sponsored by local company Inter-Line Building Supplies.

The RNLI Torbay team wish to thank everyone who helped make this wonderful day a success despite the rainy conditions; there are many wonderful photographs on the RNLI Torbay Facebook page and Torbay Lifeboat website, along with competition results.

Notes to editors


1. RNLI Torbay inshore lifeboat during the Search and Rescue demonstration (photo: Chris Slack Photography)

2. Crowds flock to Seaside Special in defiance of the cloudy skies (photo: RNLI/V Bowen)

3. 65 competitors set off for the Two Lighthouse Run (photo: RNLI/V Bowen)

2LR RUN RESULTS: Overall 1st: Lewis Keywood @ 33.46.4 (2nd: Sean Ingham and 3rd: Richard Maunder). 1st Female: Jo Walsh-Pickerill @ 38.24.9. 1st Junior: Owen McInally (son of lifeboat mechanic Ash McInally) @ 52.31.8

4. Children enjoy Zorbing from the lifeboat slipway in the shadow of the two majestic Severn Class lifeboats, Alec and Christina Dykes and relief lifeboat Volunteer Spirit (photo: RNLI/V Bowen)

5. A log-jam during the Paddle Grand Prix Event! (photo: Amy Stanford Photography)WINNING TEAM: Grumpy Teens (2nd: Oarsome Foursome)

6. The evening ends with a fantastic fireworks display by Firemagic UK, sponsored by Inter-Line Building Supplies (photo courtesy of Chris Slack Photography)


Inter-Line Building Supplies Ltd

Brixham Trawler Agents : Latitude Clothing : Caterfood Brixham Ltd : Bradleys Estate Agents : Chris Slack Photography : Darby & Darby Solicitors : Hammer & Nails : Adams Gas : Breeze FM : Bloor Homes : T&I Stockman : Berry Head Hotel : Lovell Sports : Gliddon Ford : Brixham Bait & Tackle : Mifsuds Photography : Boyce of Brixham : Ocean Mini : Cards 2 Confetti : Brixham Steam Packet Company : The Chart Room Coffee Shop : Blue Sea Food Company : Amy Stanford Photography : Firemagic UK Ltd : Broadway Pharmacy : SOUND STAGE: Roger Richards Solicitors, Steve Birchenall, Andrew North Fish Merchants, Brixham Bathroom & Plumbing, Bespoke Disco and all our Sound Stage performers

HUGE THANKS to the many volunteers from the RNLI Torbay Operations and Torbay Lifeboat Fundraisers Teams, and friends and family who made it happen!

Torbay Lifeboat Station Key Facts:

RNLI media contacts

Victoria Bowen, RNLI Torbay Lifeboat Press Officer

07794 043 428 or

Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer:

01752 854450 or

or RNLI Public Relations at Poole HQ on 01202 336 789 (24 hours)

RNLI/Vicki Bowen

Crowds flocked to Seaside Special despite the grey skies

RNLI/Vicki Bowen

65 runners set off for the Two Lighthouse Challenge

Amy Stanford Photography

Log jam chaos during the Seaside Special Paddle Grand Prix!

RNLI/Vicki Bowen

Children enjoy Zorbing in the shadow of two Severn Class lifeboats

Chris Slack Photography

Fantastic firework finale to Seaside Special 2018

Key facts about the RNLI

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, in a normal year, 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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