Ilfracombe RNLI launch to reports of floating boat wreckage
Ilfracombe RNLI's relief Shannon class all-weather lifeboat 'Stormrider', and inshore lifeboat 'Deborah Brown II', were launched at 5.50pm on Monday 25 March following reports of a section of a boat floating off Wringcliffe Bay, near Lynmouth.
The Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews quickly launched and made good time in strong tides to reach the floating wreckage at 6.10pm. Sea conditions were relatively calm with force 3 winds and a small swell.
The wreckage was found to be the bow section of a fibreglass boat, and was approximately 15 feet long. The section of boat was mostly submerged, floating at the waterline and was extremely difficult to see from the water. The wreckage was found with the assistance of Lynmouth Coastguard, 150 meters offshore, a mile and a half past Foreland Point, two and a half miles from where it was originally reported, having been carried there in just an hour by strong tides.
Once the wreckage was found and the situation assessed, the RNLI inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II then returned to the lifeboat station. The section of boat was secured to the RNLI Shannon class all-weather lifeboat Stormrider and towed to Lynmouth harbour, where it was handed over to Lynmouth Coastguard. The journey to Lynmouth harbour took an hour and a half due to the strong tides and the need to exercise caution to ensure that the boat wreckage did not break up. The lifeboat returned safely to station at 8.30pm.
Andrew Benjey, RNLI Volunteer Coxswain for Ilfracombe RNLI, said: ‘The bow section of the boat was around 15 feet long with exposed metal work and could have posed a hazard to shipping if it had been hit at any speed. The wreckage was floating at the waterline and was extremely difficult to see from the water. The hazard has now been removed and is safely with the Lynmouth Coastguard. There may be other sections of the boat in the water and we would urge people to exercise caution and to report any hazards to the Coastguard.'
Notes to editors
- Ilfracombe lifeboat station has been operating since 1866. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to https://rnli.org/ilfracombe
- Volunteer Coxswain Andrew Benjey is available for interview
- Ilfracombe RNLI station currently operates a relief Shannon class all-weather lifeboat Stormrider and a D class inshore lifeboat The Deborah Brown II. The station also operates a Shannon launch and recovery vehicle The June and Gordon Hadfield.
- A library photograph of the RNLI Shannon class lifeboat can be viewed at https://rnli.org/what-we-do/lifeboats-and-stations/our-lifeboat-fleet/shannon-class-lifeboat
- A library photograph of the RNLI D Class inshore lifeboat can be viewed at https://rnli.org/what-we-do/lifeboats-and-stations/our-lifeboat-fleet/d-class-lifeboat
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Paula Kingdon, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07786 433744 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Emma Haines, Press Officer (South) on 07786 668847 or email@example.com or contact RNLI Media and Public Relations on 01202 336789
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.