Ilfracombe lifeboat launches to fishing vessel with engine failure

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI Ilfracombe all-weather lifeboat was launched on Friday 14 April following a request for assistance made to the Coastguard by a fishing vessel with engine failure 2.5 miles offshore from Watermouth Cove.

Shannon class all-weather lifeboat at sea

RNLI/Neil Perrin

Library image of Ilfracombe RNLI all-weather lifeboat

The Coastguard paged the RNLI volunteer crew at 8.06 p.m. and the Shannon class all-weather lifeboat The Barry and Peggy High Foundation was quickly launched in calm conditions with little wind.

As the lifeboat made its way out of the harbour the Coastguard informed the crew that the fishing vessel had managed to re-start its engine and was making its way towards Watermouth Cove. The Coastguard requested the lifeboat continue towards the fishing vessel to ensure it was safe. The lifeboat arrived on scene five minutes later and found the 30 foot wooden fishing boat had made its way to the harbour and the lifeboat escorted the fishing boat safely to a mooring. The lifeboat then returned to station at 8.40 p.m. to be cleaned and made ready for the next service.

RNLI Volunteer Coxswain Andrew Bengey says, ‘We are pleased that the fishing boat managed to make its own way safely to harbour today. Mechanical failure is the single biggest cause of rescue call outs to sailing and motor cruisers, accounting for nearly 20% of all the RNLI lifeboat launches. Knowing your boat and carrying spares and being able to fit them could make the difference between having to call for help and being able to help yourself. At this time of year especially, we would suggest that after a boat has been out of the water for a long period of time over the winter, boat owners should run an engine test before undertaking their first trip to make sure all is well.’

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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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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