Young family’s lives saved after their sinking boat was scuppered on rocks

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI Torbay volunteers rescued a family of two adults and four children under four years old from rocks in Torquay yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 8 September) after the 24ft motor boat they were in started to sink rapidly.

RNLI launched both its inshore and all-weather lifeboats yesterday at 14.37 after reports of the family in danger. As their vessel started to sink, the father managed to run their boat onto the rocky shoreline and he and his family scrambled to shore with some help from onlookers. Our RNLI Torbay volunteers arrived within 10 minutes of launching from Brixham and ferried the family to the safety of our larger all-weather lifeboat using our smaller inshore vessel.

Mark Criddle OBE, RNLI Torbay’s Coxswain, said: ‘This man did absolutely the right thing in running their boat onto the rocks where his family all managed to scramble to safety. The family were distressed but otherwise unharmed although their vessel could not be saved. This could easily have been a very different and sad ending and I have no doubt that this man's quick thinking saved his family's life.”


RNLI volunteers alongside the stricken vessel


Torbay RNLI volunteers passing the baby onto the inshore lifeboat

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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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