Ilfracombe RNLI needs you!

Lifeboats News Release

Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat station is looking for volunteers to join the team to help them save lives at sea.


Ilfracombe RNLI crew (Gillian front right)

As life is returning to normal with thousands of people out and about enjoying the coast, this year has been one of the busiest ever for the RNLI lifeboat and lifeguard crews across the country. If you’ve ever fancied joining the lifeboat and heading out to sea, now is your chance! Or if you’d rather stay ashore there are a variety of roles available.

Leigh Hanks, RNLI Mechanic at Ilfracombe, said: ‘We are looking for people to join a variety of roles at the station, both afloat and ashore. Now is a great opportunity to find out a little bit more and see if volunteering for the RNLI is right for you. We are one big family and need you to help us to continue to save lives at sea.’

The station is particularly looking for volunteers to join as inshore and all-weather lifeboat crew and shore crew. Volunteers need to live within a few minutes of the station and must be available to respond to the pager in the week, as well as evening and weekends. If you live locally and are available during the day, the station is keen to hear from you. Anyone can join as a crew, between the ages of 17 and 65, and all training is provided so a maritime background is not essential.

Operational roles available –

Volunteer Inshore and All-Weather Lifeboat Crew – you’ll be crewing the D class or Shannon class lifeboat on service and exercise, under the command of the Helm/coxswain

Volunteer Shore Crew – assisting with the safe launch and recovery of the lifeboats on service and exercise

Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager – managing the day to day running of the lifeboat station and leading the operational volunteer team

Non operational roles -

Community Presenter – you’ll be delivering engaging and inspiring talks to community groups about the RNLI

Volunteer Water Safety Advisor – helping to improve safety and reduce preventable incidents around the local coastline

Gillian Cole has been on the crew for nine years. She said:

‘I’ve always loved being in and on the water and when I first asked to volunteer I knew that I wanted to support such a worthwhile charity but wasn’t sure in what capacity I’d be able to help.

‘Nine years later, with the support of the station and the training provided by the RNLI, I’m volunteer crew on both inshore and all-weather lifeboats, navigator and helm and I’m very glad I made that first, slightly nervous, approach to the station to ask if I could help.’

The RNLI is always looking for help in any capacity, so don’t be afraid to come and join us because we’d be delighted if you did. It really is like joining a family and wherever you go you are welcomed.

To find out more about the roles and where to apply visit:

Notes to editors

Attached is an image of the lifeboat crew, and Gillian Cole.

RNLI contacts

For more information please contact Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on 07786 668847 or


Ilfracombe lifeboat crew

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.