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RNLI Ilfracombe launch to fishing boat with engine failure

Lifeboats News Release

Ilfracombe RNLI were tasked by the Coastguard to assist a fishing boat with engine failure just after 3.30 p.m. on Monday 31 August following a mayday request for assistance from the vessel.

Fishing vessel being towed by Ilfracombe lifeboat

RNLI/Andrew Bengey

Ilfracombe RNLI tows fishing boat with engine failure

The RNLI volunteer crew launched the Shannon class lifeboat The Barry and Peggy High Foundation and made best speed in good conditions with a slight sea and good visibility. The non-commercial fishing vessel was initially reported to be offshore from Bull Point, near Morthoe, but on arriving on scene just 10 minutes later, the vessel could not be seen. The lifeboat began a search following the tide back towards Ilfracombe and the 27 foot long fishing boat was found 10 minutes later further offshore, and near to Ilfracombe.

The RNLI Volunteer Coxswain, Andrew Bengey assessed the situation and spoke to the fishing boat crew and decided that it was not necessary to place a crew member on board. A tow line was passed to the vessel’s crew and secured. The lifeboat then towed the broken-down fishing vessel back to Ilfracombe harbour arriving 40 minutes later where the lifeboat was made ready for the next service.

RNLI Volunteer Coxswain Andrew Bengey says: ‘the fishing boat was well equipped and well maintained, however on this occasion the engine failed. These events can unfortunately happen unexpectedly to anyone. The vessel’s crew did the right thing in raising the alarm.’

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