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RNLI Torbay’s all-weather lifeboat sails to the Isle of Wight

Lifeboats News Release

Residents and visitors to Torquay, Paignton, Brixham and surrounding areas may be interested to know that the Bay’s all-weather lifeboat Alec & Christina Dykes is currently in the Isle of Wight for a refit.

RNLI/Nigel Millard

17-27 & 17-28 alongside the Torbay lifeboat pontoon at sunset

Severn Class relief lifeboat Volunteer Spirit (number 17-27 – the boat built just before Torbay’s own) was collected from Poole on Friday 6 October and brought to the lifeboat pontoon in Brixham by Torbay Coxswain Mark Criddle and volunteer crew Roger Good, Jason Stride, Gary Fletcher and Simon James.

Torbay’s own powerful Severn Class lifeboat Alec & Christina Dykes (number 17-28) then made the crossing to the Isle of Wight in fine weather on Sunday 8 October in the capable hands of Second Coxswain Richard Fowler with crew members Will Bower, Nigel Crang, Julian Blewitt, James Hoare and Ian Barnaby.

17-28 will now undergo a complete refit - expected to take around three and a half months - but the presence of Volunteer Spirit means the Bay’s full SAR (search and rescue) capabilities remain unaffected.

As usual, Torbay is also covered by the D Class inshore (inflatable) lifeboat Leslie & Mary Daws which is used for close shoreline searches, to assist the all-weather lifeboat and for other work where the Severn Class would find it difficult to manoeuvre.

The RNLI Torbay lifeboat team welcome Volunteer Spirit to the station, and look forward to Alec & Christina Dykes returning around New Year, and will be posting updates nearer the time via Facebook, Twitter and the media.


Notes to editors


Photographs show Alec & Christina Dykes approaching the Isle of Wight (courtesy of Will Bower) and the two Severn Class all-weather lifeboats side by side on the lifeboat pontoon at Brixham (courtesy Nigel Millard).

Torbay Lifeboat Station Key Facts:

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Victoria Bowen, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07794 043 428: vicki_bowen@rnli.org.uk, or contact Carrie Garrad, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07786 668 847: carrie_garrad@rnli.org.uk or contact RNLI Public Relations at Poole HQ on 01202 336 789.

RNLI/Will Bower

View from Torbay lifeboat 17-28 as she approaches the Isle of Wight

RNLI/Will Bower

Isle of Wight Needles seen from on board 17-28 Alec & Christina Dykes

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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