First shout for helm Karla at Minehead RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

A lone oarsman in trouble in Porlock Bay on Sunday provided the first shout for Minehead RNLI’s newly-qualified helm Karla Thresher.

Volunteer Karla, who passed her final assessment only three weeks ago, took command of the station’s Atlantic 85 and launched to the man’s assistance after he contacted the Coastguard to report he was in difficulties.

He was unable to start the outboard motor on his 12-foot boat and without its assistance was unable to raise its anchor and return to Porlock Weir.

The volunteer Minehead RNLI crew located him in failing light after he flashed a torch to attract their attention and within minutes had helped raise the anchor and towed him back to port.

Health service worker Karla, aged 30 - the great-niece of a former Minehead lifeboat coxswain - is one of the five women who now account for 25 per cent of the Minehead station’s sea-going crew: well above the average for stations in the RNLI.

Nationally more than 300 women across the country are now crew members – 50 years since the very first one was enrolled.

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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Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.