Ilfracombe RNLI launched to assist passenger vessel with engine failure

Lifeboats News Release

The Ilfracombe all-weather lifeboat was launched on Tuesday 22 September to assist a 10 metre rib with three passengers on board with engine failure near Ilfracombe.

Shannon class lifeboat towing 10 metre passenger rib

RNLI/Nikki Bradshaw

RNLI Ilfracombe lifeboat tows passenger rib to safety

The volunteer crew launched the Shannon class lifeboat The Barry and Peggy High Foundation just after 4.45 p.m. and headed towards Freshwater Bay where the vessel was reported to be drifting without engines. The lifeboat made good speed on a calm sea with a light wind and soon found the vessel which had drifted on the tide towards Ilfracombe.

The RNLI Volunteer Coxswain Andrew Bengey spoke to the vessel’s helm who reported that the engine had failed possibly due to contaminated fuel. A crew member was put on board the vessel and a line attached. The rib and its passengers were then towed back to Ilfracombe harbour where the rib was safely placed alongside the pier. The lifeboat was then washed down and disinfected to be ready for its next service.

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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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