RNLI Ilfracombe launch to boat taking on water

Lifeboats News Release

The Ilfracombe all-weather lifeboat was launched on Sunday 30 August at 4.40 p.m. following reports of a boat taking on water after striking an underwater object, at an unknown location between Porthcawl and Lynmouth.

Ilfracombe lifeboat seen from fore deck of cruiser being towed


RNLI Ilfracombe lifeboat towing casualty vessel

The RNLI volunteer crew launched the Shannon class lifeboat The Barry and Peggy High Foundation and made best speed towards Lynmouth in good conditions with a slight sea and excellent visibility. The RNLI Porthcawl Atlantic 85 lifeboat Rose Of The Shires was also launched to search for the casualty vessel and the Coastguard search and rescue helicopter was also tasked to search.

As the location of the casualty vessel was not known, the lifeboat crew carried out a visual and instrument search of the area as they made their way to Lynmouth and checked any vessels they found. The lifeboat arrived at Lynmouth 35 minutes later where they found the casualty vessel, a motor cruiser, anchored just outside Lynmouth harbour with the RNLI Porthcawl lifeboat already alongside. The Ilfracombe RNLI Volunteer Coxswain Andrew Bengey spoke to the crew of the casualty vessel and confirmed that the vessel was taking on substantial amounts of water after striking an underwater object just outside the harbour. Two crew from the Ilfracombe lifeboat wearing PPE boarded the motor cruiser with the pump from the Shannon class lifeboat and began pumping out the vessel and preparing it for towing.

The two crew from the casualty vessel were taken aboard the Porthcawl lifeboat and were returned to Porthcawl. The vessel was towed back to Ilfracombe harbour by the RNLI Ilfracombe lifeboat with the pumps running and arrived at Ilfracombe harbour at 7.45 p.m. The motor cruiser was beached in the harbour ready to be lifted out the following day and the lifeboat was made ready for the next 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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