Man in water saved by Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat crew

Lifeboats News Release

Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat crew launched last week (Monday 7 February) following reports of a capsized boat and casualty in the water.

RNLI/Gudrun Limbrick

Shore and Inshore crew walk the casualty's boat toward the slipway.

As weather conditions were deteriorating on Monday afternoon, two women ashore heard a whistle being blown repeatedly off Windy Corner, Capstone, and could see an upturned boat with a person in the water.

A 999 call was made and Ilfracombe RNLI were paged by the Coastguard at 1.35pm. Within minutes, crew members Leigh, Stuart and Sophie were in the D-Class inshore lifeboat and on their way to the reported location.

On scene a male casualty was pulled out of the water and into the lifeboat. He was very cold after being in the water, and was taken straight back to the lifeboat station for casualty care treatment by volunteer crew Dave, Rob and others. He was taken to hospital by ambulance for further care.

Volunteer crew went back out to the scene to retrieve the casualty's boat and tow it back to the harbour.

Station Mechanic, Leigh Hanks reflects ‘The man was incredibly lucky. He had entered the water unexpectedly and was suffering from the effects of the water temperature which is very cold at this time of year. Fortunately he was spotted from the shore and the alarm was raised swiftly and we were able to get him out of the water and start warming up his body temperature. It’s important to remember the water is incredibly cold at this time of year so if you’re on the water, be as prepared as possible with appropriate clothing and means of calling for help should something go wrong.

‘The man came back to the lifeboat station the following day to say thank you, it was great to see him better and back on his feet.’

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Gudrun Limbrick, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at Ilfracombe RNLI, on 07713430327 or [email protected]

About RNLI Ilfracombe

There has been a lifeboat in Ilfracombe Harbour for nearly 200 years. We currently have 49 volunteers, one paid member of staff and two lifeboats – the small, manoeuvrable ILB (inshore lifeboat) named The Deborah Brown II and the large, self-righting ALB (all-weather lifeboat) called The Barry and Peggy High Foundation. Our current lifeboat house was opened in 1996. We provide a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week search and rescue service.

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 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 142,200 lives.

RNLI/Gudrun Limbrick

The casualty was taken straight into the lifeboat station to receive immediate care

RNLI/Gudrun Limbrick

During the course of the rescue, the fog was descending and the temperature was dropping

RNLI/Gudrun Limbrick

The recovery vehicle waiting for the inshore lifeboat to return

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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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