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Clovelly RNLI crew rescue cruiser on the Bideford Bar

Lifeboats News Release

On the morning of Sunday 9th Sept, the Clovelly RNLI volunteer crew were tasked to a small pleasure craft with engine failure on the Bideford Bar after hearing distress call on the radio.

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The RNLI Clovelly lifeboat was on training exercise just off Mouth Mill when the emergency May Day call was heard at around 10.00. The crew immediately abandoned exercise and made their way to Bideford Bar on the B Class inshore lifeboat. On arrival they found a small cabin cruiser caught in 4-5ft waves on an outgoing tide with engine failure. RNLI Lifeguards from Westward Ho! were providing cover. Onboard were two males in their early 20’s in distress. The boat was caught in the surf and without assistance could have ended in disaster. After assessment of the scene, a crew member was put on board the casualty vessel and towed to the safety of Appledore Quay.

Helm, Luke Gist said the conditions were made more difficult due to the ‘outgoing tide and shallow waters’ along the sandbank known as Bideford Bar. The bar is known as being treacherous and has claimed lives in the past.


Mechanical failure is the single biggest cause of rescue call outs to sailing and motor cruisers, accounting for nearly 20% of all our lifeboat launches. More advice can be found at- https://rnli.org/safety/choose-your-activity/yacht-sailing-and-motorboating#weather-and-tides




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For more information please telephone Vicky Clarke, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 0781 257 2025 or Vicky_Clarke@rnli.org.uk or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

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For more information on the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org.uk. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre www.rnli.org.uk/press


Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 180 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved 140,000 lives.


A charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SCO37736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland


Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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