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Ilfracombe RNLI assist injured woman at Heddons Mouth

Lifeboats News Release

The Ilfracombe RNLI inshore and all-weather lifeboats were launched at 8.00 p.m. on Tuesday 3 August to assist a woman who had fallen at Heddons Mouth near Lynmouth.

D class lifeboat and crew

RNLI/Neil Perrin

Ilfracombe inshore lifeboat (library image)

The volunteer crew launched the Shannon class all-weather lifeboat The Barry and Peggy High Foundation and D Class inshore lifeboat the Deborah Brown III following a request from Lynmouth Coastguard Search and Rescue, to assist with a woman who had fallen at Heddons Mouth. The woman was reported to have suffered a broken wrist and head injury with possible concussion. Due to the head injury and the woman’s location, just inshore from the beach, almost a mile along a rough path from the nearest road, the Coastguard asked the lifeboat to assist, as it was possible that the woman would need to be removed by sea.

The lifeboats made good speed in flat calm conditions and arrived at Heddons Mouth beach just 20 minutes later. The inshore lifeboat arrived first, and a crew member, who is a Doctor, and another crew member, also a healthcare professional went ashore to meet the Coastguards and examine the woman. Following a brief examination the crew members were able to confirm that it was safe for her to be moved. The Coastguards then escorted the casualty back along the path to where paramedics were waiting.

The lifeboat crew then returned to the lifeboat and made their way back to Ilfracombe harbour arriving at the station at 9.15 p.m. The lifeboats were then cleaned and made ready for the next service.

This was the first shout for crew member Gorki Sacher since he recently passed out as a crew on the inshore lifeboat. Gorki joined the RNLI as a volunteer in 2018 and has worked as shore crew and as a trainee on the inshore lifeboat for the last three years. He passed out as inshore lifeboat crew in July 2021 when the station was able restart assessments following a delay due to Covid restrictions.

Andrew Bengey, RNLI Volunteer Coxswain for Ilfracombe’s RNLI Lifeboat, says: ‘Tonight's shout was a good example of the Coastguard and the Lifeboat working together. If you get into difficulty walking along the coast call 999 and ask for the Coastguard’

Inshore lifeboat on clam sea with sun setting

RNLI/Ben Bengey

Ilfracombe inshore lifeboat returning to station

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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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.