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Busy Easter spell for Ilfracombe RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

As Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew were preparing for Thursday (24 March) evening's exercise at 6pm, they had just completed briefing and were in the process of kitting up when they were paged to an incident on Lundy Island.

The call was to assist Lundy Coastguard to evacuate a 71-year-old male with a broken arm. The lifeboat launched and made best speed given the prevailing weather conditions which were poor with wind direction WSW force 6 and low cloud.
 
The volunteer crew's training on the navigation kit aboard the Shannon was put to good use in the conditions to safely make landfall at Lundy Island. Helicopter 187 was also tasked and arrived on scene approximately 10 minutes before the lifeboat but could not land due to the low cloud on the island. The visibility was one mile at sea level at Lundy with mist.
 
The lifeboat was moored alongside the jetty and a crew member went ashore to assess the casualty and take a hand over of the casualty from the Lundy staff. The casualty was brought onto the lifeboat and made comfortable for the return passage to Ilfracombe.
 
The passage to Ilfracombe was made at a comfortable speed for the casualty in the conditions. When at Ilfracombe, the lifeboat was moored alongside and the casualty handed to the ambulance personnel.
 
Ilfracombe RNLI Second Coxswain, Carl Perrin, said: " It was a good result, the casualty needed to be transported as safely as possible. The volunteer crew got to put much of their diverse training into practice."
 
On Thursday 31 March at 3pm, the lifeboat crew were paged again, this time to a call from a member of the public who had spotted what was thought to be a dinghy off Foreland Point.
 
The volunteer crew had our relief Shannon Reg launched and underway in a very short time. Search patterns were implemented and a thorough search was made.
 
Coxswain, Andrew Bengey, said: "It was a call with good intent , we found the object thought to be a capsized dingy washed ashore. It was rope and discarded fishing gear, which from a distance in the surf, could have looked like a dingy."
 
Note to editors
Photo shows the relief Shannon class lifeboat at Ilfracombe after returning from the latest shout. Credit Ilfracombe RNLI/Sam Burbridge.
 
RNLI Press Contacts
Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer Press Officer, Jane Perrin- 07980707515/01271 855565
Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer Deputy Press Officer, Howard Thomson- 07808 166473

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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