James is new Deputy Coxswain for RNLI Torbay!

Lifeboats News Release

9-year old James Hoare, like many youngsters, loved watching the Torbay lifeboats going about their work, and used to daydream about the day he might be the one sailing out of Brixham up on the flying bridge of the ‘big boat’ …

RNLI/Nigel Millard

RNLI Torbay Deputy Coxswain James Hoare

James took a great interest in all things ‘lifeboat’ and would often draw the vessels he loved to watch so much. In due course, as a young man he was successful in joining the RNLI Torbay volunteer lifeboat crew, training hard and expanding his knowledge to become the ‘Helm’ of the inshore lifeboat, Leslie & Mary Dawes, involved with other volunteer crew members on ‘shouts’ in all weathers here in the Bay.

For the past 18 months, James (whose ‘day’ job is as a local Financial Advisor) has been further training to become a Coxswain at Torbay Lifeboat Station, based in Brixham. Both Mark Criddle OBE (full time Coxswain) and Richard Fowler (2nd Coxswain) mentored James throughout, not only on how to drive the boat in all conditions, but also to manage the many emergency situations a lifeboat crew can face, working with the crew and resources efficiently, effectively and - most importantly - safely.

After 11 years as a volunteer crew member, the last 18 months have required a completely new dimension and level of dedication to hone these skills, requiring James to study from home, at the boathouse and whilst afloat, and this week all the hard work paid off when he successfully ‘passed out’ as a Deputy Coxswain!

The ‘L’ plates may now come off, but from this point the learning really starts, and on Thursday morning last week James had the opportunity to put these skills into practice with his first solo service as Duty Coxswain, tasked to assist the 30’ fishing vessel True Grit which had suffered electrical failure and lost engine power 8 miles from shore; James and the other volunteer lifeboat crew were able to return True Grit safely under tow into Dartmouth.

James said:

‘I would not have been able to achieve this result without the help of Mark, Richard and all the crew at Torbay, past and present. I would therefore like to thank everyone in helping me achieve such an incredible milestone, and taking me from the drawing of a dream at 9 years old to the reality 25 years later.’

The whole of the RNLI Torbay team are delighted to celebrate James’ hard work and achievement – we know the residents and visitors of Torbay are blessed to have such a skilled and dedicated team of volunteers, willing to go out at a moment’s notice and help save lives at sea.

Notes to editors

Photographs show:

Photograph of James Hoare, RNLI Torbay Deputy Coxswain

James Hoare’s first tasking as Deputy Coxswain, bringing True Grit back into Dartmouth harbour

One of 9-year-old James’ original lifeboat drawings

Torbay Lifeboat Station Key Facts:

RNLI media contacts

Victoria Bowen, RNLI Torbay Lifeboat Press Officer

07794 043 428 or vicki_bowen@rnli.org.uk

Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer:

01752 854450 or emma_haines@rnli.org.uk

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

Andy Kyle, Dartmouth

James Hoare on his first 'shout' as Deputy Coxswain aboard all-weather lifeboat Alec and Christina Dykes on 7 June 2018

Andy Kyle, Dartmouth

RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat with fishing vessel True Grit alongside, approaching safety in Dartmouth Harbour

RNLI/James Hoare (aged 9 at the time!)

Lifeboat drawn by James as a boy

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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