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First shout since November for Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew were paged by the Coastguard at 4.22 p.m. on Friday 26 March following a 999 call from a member of the public with a report of a yacht close to cliffs near Combe Martin.

Shannon class lifeboat at sea in rough waves

RNLI/Nikki Bradshaw

Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat returning to station

The Ilfracombe RNLI Shannon class all-weather lifeboat The Barry and Peggy High Foundation was quickly launched and made its way towards Combe Martin in rough conditions with near gale force westerly winds and a three metre swell. The sailing vessel, a ketch around 32 feet long, was found 200 metres from Lester Point only five minutes later.

The RNLI Volunteer Coxswain, made contact with the crew of the vessel and established that no assistance was required. The lifeboat crew then returned to station at 5.30 p.m. where the lifeboat was recovered and made ready for the next service.

The shout was the first for the RNLI Ilfracombe all-weather lifeboat since the end of November 2020. The lifeboat crew has been continuing to train using RNLI online resources throughout lockdown and have recently returned to training exercises afloat.

Andrew Bengey, Volunteer Coxswain for Ilfracombe’s RNLI Lifeboat says. ‘whilst on this occasion the vessel did not require our help the member of the public did the right thing in raising the alarm. If you see someone who may be in difficulties at sea 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.