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Torbay RNLI volunteers rescue kayaker and tow fishing vessel

The all-weather lifeboat was set to sea to a vessel which had suffered engine failure three miles south of Berry Head. A tow was handed over to the lifeboat from a local trawler.

Whilst the all-weather lifeboat was conducting a tow, Torbay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was tasked to a kayaker who was in difficulty in the water south of Berry Head in choppy easterly conditions. The kayaker had raised the alarm with a Mayday call to the Coastguard. The inshore lifeboat located the casualty and retrieved them from the water, and transferred them to the nearby all-weather lifeboat for medical assessment.

The casualty was then airlifted from the lifeboat and taken to hospital. The inshore lifeboat took over the tow of the disabled vessel, so a helicopter transfer could take place.

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, Carrybridge 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.

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 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland