Mar 26
Byline: The Duke of Kent today became the first member of the Royal Family to visit the RNLI’s lifeboat station on the iconic Cobb in Lyme Regis.
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His Royal Highness met members of the volunteer crew, chatted with fund-raisers over a cup of tea and visited the charity’s hugely successful  shop next to the lifeboat station.
The Duke, who is President of the RNLI, viewed the station’s Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, Spirit of Loch Fyne, on the harbour slipway  and met members of the crew in the boathouse.
Later he toured the lifeboat station and saw a display of art by pupils from the Woodroffe School, Lyme Regis, and Charmouth Primary School.
He also met volunteers who run the  RNLI shop  and members of the Lyme Regis and Charmouth RNLI Guild, who organise fundraising events including the annual Lifeboat Week.
The Duke’s last port of call was the charity’s shop which has consistently been among the top RNLI retail outlets in the country.
In the shop he met two  long-serving volunteer assistants Gwyneth Barker and her husband Denis.
Gwyneth said:”The Duke was very interested in the shop, and asked about  the wide range of goods we sell.  He said he was very impressed with what he had heard about the success of the shop.”
Lifeboat Operations Manager Grahame Forshaw, who hosted the Duke’s visit said: “ The Duke was particularly interested to hear about the crew and their occupations, and how they combine their work  with their voluntary duties with the RNLI.
“He also showed a great interest in the station as a whole  and was particularly keen to hear about our training  methods.”

Mar 26


Byline: Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat went to the assistance of an 18 metre yacht which had run aground early this morning (26 March) whilst leaving Sovereign Harbour
Page Content: Shortly after 8am the lifeboat was requested to launch to assist the yacht which was firmly stuck in the mud in the entrance channel to the marina. Unable to free the vessel without risking damage, the volunteer lifeboat crew deployed anchors both fore and aft to secure the yacht to await the flooding tide. The six people on the casualty vessel opted to stay aboard whilst the lifeboat returned to station to keep watch with the crew remaining at immediate readiness. Later in the morning, when the water level had risen sufficiently, the ALB returned alongside the yacht, recovered the anchors and towed the vessel to deeper water. Having checked to ensure there was no damage the yacht continued on its passage to Ramsgate.

Mar 25
Byline: The national chairman of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute, Mr Charles Hunter-Pease, stopped off at Hartlepool RNLI lifeboat station as part of his visits to RNLI lifeboat stations between Hartlepool and the Humber.
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Mr Hunter-Pease met volunteers from Hartlepool RNLI’s Management Committee, the fundraising Enterprise Branch, and volunteer crewmembers. Mr Hunter-Pease spoke for about an hour about the RNLI and answered questions from the volunteers.
He asked the volunteer crewmembers about the new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat that had come on service on Saturday (21 March 2015) and was pleased to hear good reports of her performance. Mr Hunter-Pease congratulated and thanked the crew for their good work on the recent rescue of a fisherman in the water near to South Gare, three hours after the lifeboat came on service.

Mike Craddy, Hartlepool RNLI Operations Manager, said ‘We were very pleased to welcome Charles to Hartlepool lifeboat station and proud to show him round the station and the lifeboats and he said he was pleased to meet so many of our volunteers.’

Notes to editors

Photo caption

1 Hartlepool RNLI Operations Manager, Mike Craddy, welcomes RNLI Chairman, Charles Hunter-Pease .

Left to right   Hartlepool RNLI Coxwain, Robbie Maiden. Hartlepool RNLI Operations Manager, Mike Craddy. RNLI Chairman, Charles Hunter-Pease. Hartlepool RNLI Mechanic, Gary Waugh and Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crewmember, Liam Dunnett.

•  Hartlepool lifeboat station has been operating since 1803. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to

RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Malcolm Wallis, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07538 006694 or or Alison Levett RNLI Media Relations Manager North on 07786 668912 or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

Mar 25
Byline: Hartlepool RNLI’s new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was called into action three hours after going into service. Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crew members went to the assistance of a man in the water near to South Gare pier.
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Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crewmembers were putting the new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat through its paces on exercise when a call for help was heard on the radio. HM Humber Coastguard tasked the inshore lifeboat to go to the assistance of an adult male who had been washed off the South Gare pier whilst fishing.

Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crewmembers were exercising at the entrance to the Hartlepool channel at 2.40pm and quickly responded to the call and arrived on scene at South Gare at 2.46pm to find a man in the sea about 20 meters off the pier.

‘The sea state was severe with a 4 meter swell and strong winds and the new inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboat responded well in testing conditions.’ said volunteer Helmsman Darren Killick.

Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crewmember Clare Gibbin said ‘We recovered the casualty from the water onto the Atlantic 85. He was in a semi conscious state and was suffering from the effects of the water and the cold. We administered initial first aid whilst taking the fisherman to the Harbourmasters office on the River Tees to be transferred to a waiting ambulance to be taken to James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough.’

The volunteer crew from Redcar RNLI also assisted at the scene.

‘We left the casualty at 3.29pm and arrived back at the lifeboat station at 3.50pm and had the Atlantic 85 ready for service at 4.20pm.’ said Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crewmember Andy Johnson.

Hartlepool RNLI Operations Manager Mike Craddy said ‘It is very important to respect the sea at all times and not to underestimate its power. Our volunteer crewmembers train regularly to be able to respond to all circumstances and without their expertise this incident could have had a very different outcome.’

Notes to editors


Hartlepool RNLI’s new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat

•  Hartlepool lifeboat volunteer Atlantic 85 crewmembers to be supplied Sunday pm

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Malcolm Wallis, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07538 006694 or or Alison Levett RNLI Media Relations Manager North on 07786 668912 or or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

Mar 20
Byline: The RAF's Red Arrows and the Falcons parachute display team have both said they will once again display their skills during Lifeboat Week in Lyme Regis.
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This year the week runs from July 18th to the 25th.  The Red Arrows will perform on July 20th and the RAF Falcons wil be dropping in on July 24th.

The week is organised by the Lyme Regis and Charmouth RNLI Guild, and acting chairman Irene Roper said:"We are absolutely delighted that the Red Arrows and the Falcons are coming to Lyme Regis once again. At the moment we do not have a precise timetable but as soon as we do we will anounce details of arrival times for both events."

Last year around 20,000 people watched the Red Arrows, and Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week raised more than £30,000 for the life saving charity.

This will be the 42nd Lifeboat Week in the town  and will include all the favourites such as the childrens' crab fishing contest, bath tub race and tug 'o war across the harbour mouth.


Mar 10
Byline: The Invergordon RNLI lifeboat “Douglas Aikman Smith” launched yesterday to respond to their 1st service all of 2015 to aid a disabled vessel in the Cromarty Firth.
Page Content: The Volunteer crew launched the All-weather Trent Class Lifeboat at 11:03pm to a Utility Vessel in difficultly around Cromarty Harbour.  

With gale force winds gusting around 50knots and rough sea conditions, the crew made best speed to the ‘Morag M’ a 68ft Utility Vessel who suffered an engine problem when trying to berth in the shelter of Cromarty Harbour. 

Arriving on scene around 11:15pm the crew quickly established a towline to help secure the vessel and assisted in ensuring it berthed safely from the deteriorating weather conditions. 

The Lifeboat then made it’s way back to her berth in Invergordon West Harbour, where she was refuelled and ready for service by 00:20.

Mar 9
Byline: Loch Ness RNLI lifeboat volunteers launch in multi-agency response
Page Content: Loch Ness RNLI lifeboat team were launched after HM Coastguard receive a report that a car had come off the A82 and crashed down an embankment into the freezing waters of Loch Ness just before 8pm on Sunday 8th March 2015.

Volunteers Jamie Young, Neil Stebbings and Martin Douglas took the Atlantic 75 class lifeboat, Colin James Daniel, onto the loch and headed for the incident which occurred near Invermoriston.
The Scottish Ambulance Service, Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue services also deployed personnel and specialist teams in the multi-agency response to the incident.
The RNLI crew were stood down en route as the person was recovered from the water.
Loch Ness RNLI volunteer crew member Neil Stebbings says: "We responded with our specialist casualty handling equipment. It was totally dark and the water was extremely cold so it was vital to get to the scene as quickly and safely as possible to contribute to the combined rescue efforts."
Crew member Martin Douglas added: "Access from the roadside to the loch is notoriously difficult and we are able to recover a casualty and transfer them directly to a helicopter or to our land based colleagues as required, giving emergency medical treatment for any injuries sustained by the casualty. We train with the other emergency services to ensure an effective rescue and coordination of resources"
The entire rescue effort was coordinated by the HM Coastguard duty watch team from base in Aberdeen with Fire and Rescue and Ambulance officers managing the situation locally.

Mar 7
Byline: A small motor cruiser had broken its mooring line and was drifting upstream from the "Blue" bridge in Rhyl harbour, with the owner trying to get to the boat to recover it.
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Both Rhyl and Flint Coastguard response teams had been called out to try to get an anchor on the boat as it drifted. They succeeded in stopping the vessel drifting, but the anchors were tending to lose their grip ion the shingle bank. The owner of the vessel had said he would try to recover the vessel after the next high tide, but this would have been in the middle of the night.

Holyhead Coastguard rescue centre contacted the Rhyl RNLI station mamager to see if the crew could assist in getting the boat back to it's mooring. As the owner could be putting himself into danger, it was agreed that the inshore lifeboat and crew would assist the man, and the pagers were set off at 12.04 pm on Saturday 7th March.

The inshore lifeboat was launched about five minutes later, and was on scene some five minutes after that. The crew managed to get a tow line on to the vessel, recovered the anchor, and successfully towed the vessel back to it's mooring, where it was safely secured. The lifeboat crew were safely back on station at 1.03pm.

A video of the service will be available once edited. 

Mar 1
Byline: Excitement is the word of the moment at Ilfracombe RNLI, as this week the news came that the launch and recovery vehicle appeal target has been reached.
Page Content: The appeal, which began in January 2013, was launched to raise £150,000 towards the £1 million cost of the launch and recovery vehicle, which is to be used with the new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat, due to arrive on station this summer.

Just before Christmas (2014), we announced that the appeal had reached the £125,000 mark, and now, a mere three months later, the generosity of our friends and supporters has meant that we’ve reached our overall local target.

Members of Ilfracombe RNLI’s volunteer crew, including Head Launchers, Tractor Drivers and Mechanics, gathered with fundraising committee Secretary Lynda Rodd and Lifeboat Operations Manager Chris Wallis at the lifeboat station this morning (Sunday 1 March) to celebrate the news.

Chris said: ‘When we first set our local target we knew that we could rely on the community to give generously, and we are extremely grateful to everyone who has dug deep and done exactly that.

‘What we weren’t expecting, however, was such huge support from outside our local area, and yet we have been surprised and thankful to find that over the two years that the appeal has been running, the people of Barnstaple and Braunton have stepped up and helped raise a massive £15,000 specifically for our appeal. We give our thanks to the Barnstaple Fundraising Branch members and supporters for this incredible boost.’

Fundraising for the appeal has not been restricted to Ilfracombe and Barnstaple areas, however. The Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire Branch, which raised the bulk of the £600,000 needed to fund the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat, Spirit of Derbyshire, over 25 years ago, has kept close ties with our lifeboat station and raised an incredible £12,000 towards our launch and recovery vehicle appeal. On behalf of Ilfracombe RNLI, Chris also wanted to thank our friends from this land-locked area;

‘The support that has been shown to us over the years by the dedicated members and supporters of the Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire Branch is fantastic. To be so far from the sea and still manage to raise such large amounts of money for the RNLI is quite an achievement, and to raise this £12,000 specifically for our station is incredibly generous.

‘Our thanks go to everyone who has given of their time, effort and of course money to help Ilfracombe RNLI reach our £150,000 target in such a short period of time.’

The launch and recovery vehicle appeal at Ilfracombe RNLI has now ended, however, that doesn’t mean that fundraising at the lifeboat station is stopping. Lynda Rodd, volunteer fundraising committee Secretary, commented;

‘The RNLI relies on donations to keep afloat,’ she explained. ‘It costs £195,000 a year to run an all-weather lifeboat station, around £1,400 a year for training for each crew member and over £2,500 to kit each crew member for the inshore and all-weather lifeboats. Approximately six out of every ten launches are only possible due to legacies, but it is only possible to keep the charity going, to launch the lifeboats around the country and save lives at sea, because of the money that is donated to us by the public. Every penny placed in a collecting tin, every raffle ticket or cup of tea bought at an event, it all goes to enabling our brave volunteer crew members to carry out their lifesaving work.

‘We’re so grateful to everyone who has helped us with the appeal,’ Lynda added, ‘and we hope that the generosity and support that has been shown to Ilfracombe RNLI will continue. Hopefully we’ll see everyone at our Easter event, keep an eye out for the details!’

There are exciting times ahead for Ilfracombe RNLI. Over the next couple of months the lifeboat station works will be finished and the volunteers will be moving everything back in, including the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat Spirit of Derbyshire and the D-class inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II. Within weeks, the launch and recovery vehicle will be arriving at the station, and then it won’t be long before the new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat, The Barry and Peggy High Foundation, arrives to begin her 50 years expected service at Ilfracombe lifeboat station.

In amongst the activity, there will be intensive training on the new equipment for each crew member, boat and shore crew alike. There will be fundraising events, with the inaugural Ilfracombe RNLI Sponsored Walk having entry opening soon. Should you wish to get involved, volunteers from Ilfracombe RNLI are having a number of informal get togethers at different locations around town, where you can come along and find out what we do, and what you can offer us. The first of these will be at the Manor House Café (next to the Co-op) on Wednesday 25 March from 2.30pm – 5.00pm, and we’d love to see you there.

To keep up to date with all the news from Ilfracombe RNLI, follow us on Facebook (, Twitter (@IlfracombeRNLI), or keep an eye out in local press. For information on how you can get involved, please contact Lynda Rodd on, or

RNLI notes to editors
• Please find a photograph attached showing volunteers from Ilfracombe RNLI thanking everyone who has helped to reach the £150,000 appeal target. Please credit RNLI/Ilfracombe.
• Please find a photograph attached showing the volunteers with the £150,000 celebration cake. Please credit RNLI/Ilfracombe.

RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Suzie Tubby, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at Ilfracombe RNLI, on 07961 317088 or email, or contact Emma Haines, RNLI Press Officer (South West) on 07786 668847 or

Feb 27
Byline: The Director of Community Lifesaving and Fundraising for the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), Leesa Harwood, recently visited Rhyl lifeboat station on a fact-finding visit to North Wales.
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Leesa has recently become responsible for all the RNLI stations around the coast and inland waters of the UK and Ireland. As part of her duties, she has been visiting stations to fact-find and to "get a feel" for the diversity of the stations and their individual needs and issues. This will eventually lead her to be able to consult with her fellow board members to decide the most efficient and cost-effective methods to provide rescue at sea and on our beaches.

As a result of an invite from Rhyl's Coxswain Martin Jones at a recent conference event, Leesa agreed to come to Rhyl, to see for herself what the region's lifeboat crews have to deal with on their section of the coast. In 2014, Rhyl was the busiest station in North Wales, and the second busiest in Wales. 

Leesa was met at the lifeboat station by Lifeboat Operations Manager Darrel Crowther, who took her on a tour of the boathouse and the harbour, also showing her the local offshore windfarms. She then had a question and answer session with the crew, before moving on to the "Cob and Pen " public house for food and drinks. Before the crew left the boathouse, Leesa was presented with a framed photo of Rhyl's all-Weather lifeboat, "Lil Cunningham" by Coxswain Jones.

The following morning, Leesa chaired a meeting at Rhyl lifeboat station for the Operations managers and full-time crew from the stations at Llandudno, Conwy, Rhyl, Flint, West Kirby andf Hoylake. She wanted to find out the grass-roots thoughts from local crews regarding the way forward for the RNLI, to discuss possible improvements, or where the RNLI is doing the right thing.

Leesa also visited the new lifeboat station at Moelfre prior to her visit to Rhyl.

The pictures show

  1. Leesa with Rhyl crew on her visit to the station ;
  2. being shown a video on Rhyl's recent rescues made by crew member Callum Robinson;
  3. being presented with her framed photo by Darrel Crowther(left) and Martin Jones outside Rhyl station;
  4. and with the Operations managers and crew from flank stations.

Leesa says " I am very pleased to visit North Wales in my role as RNLI director, and thank Rhyl Coxswain Martin Jones for his kind invite to Rhyl".