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Clovelly Lifeboat Day

Lifeboats News Release

Sunday 5 August saw Clovelly RNLI's Lifeboat Day take place.

The day started with an impressive Gun Run up and then down the Clovelly Cobbles by the 326 (Hartland) Squadron Air Training Corps, made even more challenging with such hot and sunny conditions.

Following this, Clovelly Pilot Gig club had a naming ceremony for their new gig boat. This was officially named by TV presenter Amanda Lamb. ‘Headon Home’ was named after Coxswain Richard Headon who who won a Silver medal in 1882 in recognition of his gallant services in saving 34 lives in the previous 12 years. The Gig club then continued with tradition and ran the BBQ for the day, selling a huge amount of burgers and sausages. Their support is always welcome and appreciated.

We had some amazing cakes entered into our Great RNLI Bake-Off, with a closely contested competition. Judges were Hon. John Rous and Sarah Jane Lander from No 39 the Pottery, who also donated the prize. The Nautical But Nice winner was Keeley Condron, with Charlotte Carling’s Octopus Cake a very close second.

A challenge set for visitors was to ‘Suit Up’ into full lifeboat crew kit, and then get the kit off. This was timed, the winner of the day taking only one minute and 19 seconds to complete the task. This was incredibly impressive as no Clovelly crew member has ever completed it this fast.

The raffle was well supported by local businesses, with a holiday donated by Parkdean Resort, tickets for Exeter City FC, Exeter Chiefs, entry to various attractions, locally made jewellery from Made From the Hart and a variety of other items. The Tombola prizes were donated by the residents of the Village, they showed huge generosity. Both these are great fundraisers for the cause.

The RNLI Face-to-Face team came along to speak to the public about how to #RespectTheWater, while also signing up supporters for a regular donation. There was a lot of interest and they were kept busy all day.

We were lucky to see the temporary return of the William Cantrell Ashley, the lifeboat that served Clovelly from 1949-1968. Skipper Ed Saunders took some lucky spectators out to watch the Clovelly RNLI volunteer crew and the St Athan based Agusta Westland Coastguard Helicopter complete a stunning display which concluded the day in magnificent style.

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