New local Coxswain of the RNLI’s largest Lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Congratulations to Appledore RNLI volunteer crew member Gary Stanbury.

RNLI/Niki Tait

Gary Stanbury, of Appldore RNLI, passes out as RNLI Severn Coxswain
Gary Stanbury is both a deputy coxswain and deputy mechanic at Appledore Lifeboat Station as well as one of the crew trainers. He regularly provides cover at other lifeboat stations and stands in for their coxswain or mechanic enabling leave to be taken, off site courses to be attended, or for illness, etc.

Last week Gary added to his long list of lifeboat skills by being passed out as Coxswain on the Severn Lifeboat.

The Severn class lifeboat is the largest lifeboat in the RNLI fleet. She was developed in the early 1990s and introduced into the fleet in 1996. As an all-weather lifeboat, the Severn can take on the worst sea conditions and comes into her own on long offshore searches and rescues. She is designed to lie afloat, either at deep-water moorings or alongside at a berth. Around the country 35 lifeboat stations have the Severn class all-weather lifeboat, several being located within the South West.

Gary explains: ‘I recently passed out as a Severn coxswain after approximately twelve months training and did my final pass out whilst taking the Plymouth Severn, Sybil Mullen Glover, from Plymouth to Falmouth for maintenance.

‘My coxswain pass out was only possible due to all the advice and help given to me by the Plymouth Coxswain David Milford and all the crew, the Penlee Coxswain Patch Harvey and crew, everyone at Appledore Lifeboat Station and my Coxswain mentor Chris Winzar who is Coxswain at Salcombe.’

Gary has been a volunteer on the crew at Appledore RNLI for approximately 28 years, and was awarded a RNLI Bronze Medal ‘in recognition of his courage, determination and leadership when the B class inshore lifeboat saved three men from the power boat Kasam, which was in difficulties in Bideford Bar on the evening of 22 January 2005. The rescue took place in darkness amongst large unpredictable breaking waves caused by the wind over tide conditions’. The Walter and Elizabeth Groombridge Award for 2005 was also made for this service.


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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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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