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Ilfracombe lifeboat launches to multiple people in difficulties near Hele Bay

Lifeboats News Release

The Ilfracombe RNLI D class inshore lifeboat was launched on Tuesday 27 July at 9.00 p.m. following a report of multiple people cut off by tide and in the water near Hele Bay.

Ilfracombe RNLI D class inshore lifeboat heading out to sea

RNLI/Neil Perrin

Ilfracombe RNLI Inshore lifeboat heading out to sea (Library image)

The volunteer crew launched the D Class lifeboat Deborah Brown III and quickly made their way along the coast to Hele Bay in good conditions with light winds and a small swell.

Arriving at Hele Bay just 5 minutes later they found a number of people in the water swimming to the beach. The lifeboat helm approached the swimmers who reported they had been cut off by the rising tide but had managed to swim to safety.

Volunteer lifeboat Helm Ben Bengey says: ‘the tides along the North Devon coast can come in very quickly and catch people out. We always recommend that people check the tide timetables before they head out along the shore and keep an eye on the time. Fortunately today no one was hurt, but the person who reported the event did the right thing. If you see someone you think may be in difficulty call 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.

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