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RNLI lifeguards rescue sailor after his boat runs aground

Lifeguards News Release

Lifeguards at Bantham beach in south Devon have come to the aid of a sailor whose vessel ran aground on a shallow sandbank off Bigbury.

Jonathan Warren

RNLI lifeguards returned the man to his sailing boat the follow day.

The sailor had been making his way to the River Avon when he got into difficulty at around 4pm on Monday 9 April.

On duty lifeguards Alex Tucker, Loic Doision and Ivan Burton stepped into action when they spotted the man in trouble, launching their inshore rescue boat.

They reached the man in a matter of minutes, checking he was alright before helping him in attempting to free the vessel.

With the tide dropping it made it impossible for the lifeguards to push the boat off the sandbank and so a decision was made to leave the vessel overnight until it could be towed off the sandbank.

They transferred the man to the inshore lifeboat and he was brought back to the safety of the shore at Bantham where he spent the night at a local inn.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Chris Rampling says: ‘The lifeguards spotted and reacted quickly to the man in difficulty. They regularly train in these conditions and so they were able to reach him and his vessel as soon as possible. We’d always ask anyone who sees someone in trouble in the water to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

The lifeguards dropped the sailor back to his boat in the morning where with the help from a motor boat user the man was towed off the sandbank and able to continue his journey.

It comes during a busy Easter holiday period for the lifeguards.

Notes to editors

  • Pictures with captions/credits attached.
  • Interviews available upon request
  • In 2017, RNLI lifeguards across the south west dealt with 7,982 incidents, assisting 10,080 people

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Emily Lawrence

RNLI lifeguards transferred the man to their inshore rescue boat.

Emily Lawrence

RNLI lifeguards attempted to free the vessel.

Luke Lane

Lifeguards rescue sailor whose boat ran aground

Emily Lawrence

RNLI lifeguards brought the man to the safety of the shore.

Jonathan Warren

RNLI lifeguards returned the man to his sailing boat.

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.

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