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Newly qualified helm Libby responds to emergency

Lifeboats News Release

Olivia ‘Libby’ Finch took charge of Cowes RNLI lifeboat for the first time on a real ‘shout’ today (Sunday) - since qualifying two months ago as the station’s first female helm.

The crew aboard the lifeboat on its return to station.

RNLI/George Chastney

The lifeboat crew back at the station (left to right): Matt Glenn, Jack Banks, Libby Finch and Myles Hussey

She joined three male crew members to go to the aid of a windsurfer, reported to be in trouble off Lepe. However, as they crossed the wind-swept Solent the crew discovered the windsurfer had managed to reach the Lepe shore without assistance.

The lifeboat, which launched just before 2 pm returned to station 40 minutes later.

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.