Ilfracombe lifeboat launches following report of two people cut off by tide

Lifeboats News Release

The Ilfracombe lifeboat volunteer crew were paged by the Coastguard on Saturday 19 September at 7.23 p.m. following a 999 call from fishermen who reported two people cut off by tide at Crock Pits, near Lee Bay.

Shannon class all-weather lifeboat at sea

RNLI/Neil Perrin

Ilfracombe RNLI all-weather lifeboat (Library image)

Two anglers on the west side of the bay reported seeing two people on the easterly side of the bay who appeared to be trying to leave the beach. The anglers lost sight of the people and raised the alarm when they thought they would be cut off by the rising tide.

The Shannon class Ilfracombe all-weather lifeboat 'The Barry and Peggy High Foundation' was quickly launched and made best speed with good visibility and an 18 knot ( mph) easterly breeze along the coast to Crock Pits arriving around 20 minutes after launch.

The Lynmouth Coastguard Search and Rescue team were also on scene and spoke to the two anglers before searching the cliffs and paths between Crock point and Lee Bay for the two people. The Coastguard also searched a rough path leading from the beach to the top of the cliff as it was thought that the two people may have made their way from the shore to the top of the cliff via this route. The Ilfracombe lifeboat crew searched the coastline between Woody Bay and Lee Bay with searchlights and infra red (FLIR) camera, however there was no sign of the people. After searching the coast and cliffs for over an hour, the lifeboat crew were stood down at 9.30 p.m. and returned to station arriving back at Ilfracombe harbour at 9.50 p.m. where the lifeboat was made ready for the next service.

RNLI Volunteer Coxswain, Carl Perrin says, ‘the anglers were concerned that there were people in trouble and they did the right thing in calling the Coastguard. On this occasion it appears it was a false alarm however we would always urge people, that if they see people they may think are in difficulty, to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

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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 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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