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Ilfracombe RNLI tasked to assist woman cut off by tide

Lifeboats News Release

The Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat was tasked to assist the Coastguard helicopter just after 3.10 p.m. on Saturday 7 August following a report that a woman was stuck on the cliffs and cut off by tide at Foreland point, near Lynmouth.

Shannon class lifeboat at sea

RNLI/Neil Perrin

Ilfracombe RNLI Shannon Lifeboat (library image)

The RNLI volunteer crew quickly launched the station’s Shannon class all-weather lifeboat The Barry and Peggy High Foundation and made their way out of the harbour in rough weather conditions with a westerly Force 7 wind (32- 36 mph) and two and half metre waves.

The lifeboat made good speed with the winds and tide behind them and had just reached Sandridge Buoy around 25 minutes later, approximately 12 miles from Ilfracombe when they were released from service, as the woman had been successfully winched to safety by the Coastguard helicopter. The woman was checked by the Coastguard medic onboard and was found to be unharmed and was returned to shore.

The lifeboat then turned around and made its way back to Ilfracombe, against the tide, arriving back in the harbour at 4.40p.m to be recovered and made ready for the next service. It has been a busy 24 hours for the lifeboat crew and shore crew with a difficult shout the previous day which took the volunteer crew away from their families and home life for many hours.

RNLI Volunteer Coxswain Carl Perrin says: ‘the tides around the North Devon coastline can come in very quickly and catch people out. Fortunately, today no one was hurt, however we would urge people to check the tide timetables before walking along the shoreline and to keep an eye on the time. We would always recommend that people carry a means of calling for help and if they get into difficulties dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

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.