May 31


Byline: 4 callouts for the lifeboats as they attended the Open Days of Rhyl's new harbour facilities.
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The crews of both the inshore and All-weather lifeboats were certainly kept on their toes as they attended the Open days at the harbour.

Rhyl's new harbour was officially opened after hosting the Queen's baton relay on Friday 30 May. The lifeboats attended to show a RNLI presence at the gala days.

The crews had been alerted before the festivities at 1.05 am on the Friday, for a female threatening to jump from the Blue bridge in the harbour, but Police apprehended the lady before the lifeboats got there.

At the harbour opening, Cosxwain Martin Jones met up with Captain Jack Sparrow, and the 2 swapped tales of the open seas over a (fake) bottle of Rum! (picture attached)

The lifeboats left the harbour at 3pm as the tide was ebbing, but the volunteer crews were paged at 3.30pm for a kayaker who had capsized off Pensarn, Abergele. The man made it ashore safely and so both boats were stood down before launching.

The boats returned to the harbour on Saturday to again represent the RNLI. At 12.15pm, the crew noticed a small rigid inflatable towing a larger fishing boat, which was being dragged by the tide on to the central support of the blue bridge in the harbour. The inshore lifeboat sped to the scene, but the boat's crew had managed to extricate the fishing boat from the bridge, so the lifeboat crew stood by until the fishing boat was safely alongside Rhyl harbour quay wall. The All-weather lifeboat stood by should it be needed, but all was well.

At 1.15pm, Holyhead coastguard called the lifeboat regarding a PWC (personal water craft - Jetski) which had broken down to the North-East of the Rhyl Flats windfarm, about 6 miles from Rhyl. The lifeboat crew immediately set off, and came alongside the craft about 25 minutes later. The engine management system on the Jetski had failed, and the owner could not start the machine. The lifeboat crew assisted the owner to get some emergency power and so the Jetsjki started back for Rhyl at about 5mph, shadowed by the lifeboat. Both vessels were safely back in Rhyl harbour by 2.30pm.

Coxswain Martin Jones says "Rhyl's harbour days proved very successful, and this could be the start of many great events to be held at the harbour area. It certainly is something that will prove a positive thing for Rhyl in these days of bad news and gloom" 

The pictures of the rescue are credit RNLI/Paul Frost, and the "Pirates" pictures are credit Callum Robinson, Rhyl crew member.

The RNLI sea safety caravan also attended the harbour days, together with the local volunteer coastguard teams from Rhyl and Flint.

May 31


Byline: Both Ramsgte RNLI's inshore (ILB) and all-weather (AWB) lifeboats launched at 4.54pm on Friday 30 May to assist a yacht aground on the Goodwin Sands.
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The 13m. Belgian yacht with five people aboard was firmly aground on the Sands on a falling tide and could not be towed off. It was decided to take the crew members off the yacht to the safety of Ramsgate and the ILB crew transferred the five crew members to the AWB in fairly calm seas and both lifeboats returned to Ramsgate.

As the yacht could have become a shipping hazard the lifeboats launched again at 10.30pm as the tide was rising. Upon reaching the yacht two ILB crew went aboard to check for damage and finding none apparent attached a towing rope and as soon as it was felt that there was enough sea under it, the ILB crew managed to tow the yacht off the Sands. The tow was transferred to the AWB and the lifeboats reached the harbour at 1.00am where the yacht was reunited with its crew.

It is understood that the yacht and its crew returned to Belgium early today following further checks.

Historical Note
The Goodwin Sands are a notorious moving sandbank that lay off the East Kent coast and are marked by navigational buoys. Over the centuries they have been the cause of thousands of shipwrecks and the loss of many lives.

RNLI media contacts
• John Ray, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (Ramsgate Lifeboat)
07759 480825 /
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 /
• James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East)
0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 /
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

May 29


Byline: Two new volunteer crew members at Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat station have had a vital part of their crew training funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.
Page Content: Ben Bengey, 17, and Andrew Day, 42, from Ilfracombe, recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity’s Trainee Crew Course.

A key part of that course is the sea survival element, which enables new volunteer crew to be trained in a variety of crucial subjects including how to ‘abandon ship’ with a 4m jump into water; team survival swimming and coping in a liferaft in simulated darkness; how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats; how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat; and the importance of lifejackets.

Training took place in the Sea Survival Centre at the RNLI College in Poole, which includes a 25m long wave-generating survival tank, allowing trainees to experience first-hand some of the scenarios they may encounter at sea should they ever need to abandon their lifeboat.

The training was funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a UK registered charity that invests in science, engineering and technology for public benefit, worldwide. The Trust is funding the Sea Survival element of Trainee Crew Courses for a 5 year period from January 2011 to December 2015. This additional funding of nearly £1M brings their total support to just over £1.5M.

Talking about the training, Ben, who volunteers as a crew member aboard both the D-class inshore lifeboat and Mersey class all-weather lifeboat, said: ‘The week at the College in Poole has been amazing. Meeting other crew members from around the UK is always really interesting, and we have learnt so much. The training has really put us through our paces and made us realise both how much we had already learnt and how much there was we didn’t know. Survival training is just epic! Hopefully we’ll never go through any of the scenarios for real, but it’s important to be prepared, as you never know what might happen on a shout.’

Ben, by joining the volunteer crew at Ilfracombe, is following in his father, volunteer Coxswain Andrew Bengey’s footsteps. He has been an integral part of the team at Ilfracombe RNLI for a long time, with several years as a fundraiser before he turned 17 and could join up as crew. He has taken to his training as if born to be a volunteer crew member, and in his first year has already been a vital part of several lifeboat ‘shouts’, on both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats.

Ilfracombe RNLI’s volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager Chris Wallis said: ‘The support given by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation is hugely important to the RNLI. We are extremely grateful that it has chosen to fund sea survival training, which teaches vital core skills to our volunteer crew.

‘This training is central to allowing the RNLI and its volunteers to stay safe while on rescue missions. It equips volunteers with essential sea survival skills; providing them with the courage, poise and self-confidence to save lives even in the most perilous seas.’

This donation is just the latest in the LRF’s relationship with the RNLI, which was recognised in 2010 when it received the Group Supporter Award from HRH Prince Michael of Kent in recognition of its valuable support of the charity.

Notes to Editors

About the Lloyd's Register Foundation
The Lloyd's Register Foundation (LRF) is a UK registered charity and sole shareholder of Lloyd’s Register Group Ltd, and invests in science, engineering and technology for public benefit, worldwide.

Please find attached a photograph showing Ben Bengey at the RNLI College in Poole, with the first Shannon class all-weather lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater in the background. Please credit RNLI/Ilfracombe.

For more information please telephone Suzie Tubby, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07961317088 or email  

May 29


Byline: The volunteer crew of relief D-class inshore lifeboat, Mabel Davis, from Ilfracombe RNLI, rescued two men cut off by the tide this evening (Tuesday 27 May).
Page Content: Shortly after 7pm, Ilfracombe RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched to the aid of two men cut off by the tide at Crock Point, near Lee Abbey. The men had been walking from Woody Bay back towards Lee Abbey as the tide was coming in, and finding themselves cut off, had begun to swim. They got as far as Crock Point, where they found they could go no further and made their way ashore.

Local coastguard teams from Lynmouth and Ilfracombe were tasked to the scene, and had begun a cliff descent, with the lifeboat standing by in the water. Soon, it was decided that the best course of action would be for a member of the lifeboat crew to go ashore and recover the two casualties into the inshore lifeboat.

Nick Waites, a volunteer crew member for Ilfracombe RNLI, went ashore and made contact with the two men, fitting them both with lifejackets and checking they needed no medical assistance. Volunteer helmsman Duncan Thomson then brought the inshore lifeboat back in to the rocks, where each of the casualties was helped aboard, followed by Nick.

The lifeboat crew took the casualties to Lee Bay, where they handed the pair over to Ilfracombe’s coastguard team and representatives of the Lee Abbey management. They then returned to the lifeboat station, where they cleaned down and refuelled the lifeboat, making her ready for service once more.

Duncan shared some advice for anyone planning to walk along the coast;

‘It is important to remember that the Bristol Channel has one of the largest tidal ranges in the world, and a result of this is that many of the beaches and pathways that are available to walk on during low tide become completely covered as the tide comes in. If you intend to walk along the coast, please do check the state of the tide, and be aware that somewhere you were able to walk earlier in the day may not be available to you upon your return.

‘People should always carry a means of communication, in case of emergency dial 999 and ask for the coastguard. It always pays to let someone know where you are going and when you intend to return, so that they can raise the alarm if you are late back.’

RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Suzie Tubby, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at Ilfracombe RNLI, on 07961 317088 or email  

May 29


Byline: The discovery of a fully rigged windsurfing board floating off Eastbourne pier yesterday (24 May) prompted a major search involving Eastbourne lifeboats, the coastguard rescue helicopter, coastguard teams and the police.
Page Content: The abandoned windsurfing board, complete with sail, was discovered by the crew of a passing dive charter boat as they were returning to Sovereign Harbour and was immediately reported to Dover Coastguard. Fearful that someone was in the water, a major search and rescue effort was initiated. Both Eastbourne lifeboats were launched and Coastguard rescue helicopter 104 was scrambled. Local coastguard teams were also paged to attend. The rescue co-ordination centre at Dover Coastguard used computer models of wind and tide to map out search patterns for all services covering an area from Cow Gap to Pevensey Bay. The all-weather lifeboat (ALB) searched a parallel area from the pier heading west while the inshore lifeboat (ILB) searched an expanding area from the position where the surfboard was found. When the rescue helicopter joined the search it covered an area from Pevensey Bay to Beachy Head. Meanwhile local coastguard teams and police patrolled the beaches for possible clues and passing yachts were requested to keep a sharp lookout. When all comprehensive search patterns were completed with nothing found and in good visibility the decision was taken to stand all services down. In standing down Eastbourne lifeboats Dover Coastguard commended the volunteer crews for the speed of launch and the thoroughness and accuracy of their search.

Whilst both teams were refuelling and preparing the lifeboats for service the pagers where once again activated. This time a kite surfer was reported as being in trouble outside Sovereign Harbour. The ALB stood by whilst the casualty was taken aboard the ILB and returned to the beach from where he started.

May 29


Byline: A presentation was made at the recent RNLI fundraisers AGM to two stalwarts of Eastbourne lifeboats who between them have dedicated nearly 80 years voluntary service
Page Content: Two specially commissioned prints of a water colour by local artist Andy Dunbar were presented to Cannon Bob Butler and Dr Colin Mckee by the crew of Eastbourne lifeboats to thank them for their lifetime contribution to the station spanning a combined total of nearly 80 years. Both men have stepped down from active service, Cannon Bob as Honorary Lifeboat Chaplain and Dr Mckee as Lifeboat Medical Advisor.

Following the presentation Cannon Bob reflected fondly on the 42 years he has been associated with the station and the many ceremonies he has officiated during that time. Not only has he dedicated every new lifeboat that has come on station during his tenure but also such things as the Sovereign light tower. Bob’s compassion and humour has been a comforting influence for everyone on station over the years, both through the joyous occasions such as weddings involving members of crew but also at sadder times on their passing.

Dr. McKee stepped down as Lifeboat Medical Advisor last year after 37 years but remains Chairman of the Lifeboat Management Group. Colin remarked at the presentation that he will definitely not miss climbing the rope ladder of a passing ship in the middle of the night in heavy seas to attend injured crewmen or being woken in the middle of the night by his crew pager and looks forward to a more leisurely retirement. Colin played a key role in managing the fund raising efforts for our new lifeboat Diamond Jubilee and said he is proud to be associated with Eastbourne lifeboats and their crew. 

May 29


Byline: Both RNLI Eastbourne lifeboats were in action on Sunday to rescue a disabled yacht off Beachy Head and an angling boat with engine failure.
Page Content: With Sovereign Harbour experiencing one of its busiest days of the year so far with hundreds of sailors taking advantage of the beautiful sunshine, it didn’t come as too much of a shock that Eastbourne lifeboats would be called into action. Just after 14.00hrs. Dover Coastguard were contacted by the crew of a 10 metre yacht to say they had run out of fuel and were unable to sail due to lack of wind whilst rounding Beachy Head. Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was requested to launch to their assistance. With the disabled yacht under tow heading back to Sovereign Harbour, the volunteer lifeboat crew spotted an elderly angler in a 6 metre boat slowly rowing his craft off Langney Point. The ALB pulled alongside to enquire if all was well. The angler was unable to start his outboard engine and was having difficulty rowing the heavy vessel and gladly accepted the offer of help. Dover Coastguard was alerted and Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat (ILB) was launched to assist. The ALB returned the stricken yacht to Sovereign Harbour and the ILB towed the angling boat back to the Angling Club beach at Fisherman’s Green.  

May 29


Byline: A volunteer lifeboat trainee at Margate RNLI Lifeboat Station has had a vital part of his crew training funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF).
Page Content: Wesley Lambuschagne, a member of the RNLI team at Margate, recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity’s trainee crew course.

A key part of the course is the sea survival element, which enables new volunteer crew to be trained in a variety of crucial subjects including:

• how to ‘abandon ship’ with a 4m jump into water
• team survival swimming and coping in a liferaft in simulated darkness
• how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats
• how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat, and
• the importance of lifejackets

Paul Hodson, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Margate RNLI, explained that the sea survival element of the training course has been funded by LRF, a UK registered charity that invests in science, engineering and technology for public benefit, worldwide. They are funding the sea survival element of the trainee crew course for a five year period from January 2011 to December 2015 and this additional funding of nearly £1M brings their total support to just over £1.5M.

Mr Hodson said: “The training took place in the Sea Survival Centre at the RNLI College in Poole, which has to be seen to be believed. Our volunteers can expect to face all manner of conditions out at sea – sometimes the worst of what nature can throw at them so the RNLI gives crewmembers the most realistic experience of what it can be like. The centre includes a powerful wave tank where wind, rain and total darkness conditions can be created. The centre also includes a fire-fighting simulator, allowing trainees to experience first-hand some of the scenarios they may encounter at sea as lifeboat crew.”

Notes to editors

• About the Lloyd's Register Foundation The Lloyd's Register Foundation (LRF) is a UK registered charity and sole shareholder of Lloyd’s Register Group Ltd, and invests in science, engineering and technology for public benefit, worldwide.

• Margate lifeboat station has been operating since 1860. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to

RNLI media contacts
• Peter Barker, RNLI Margate Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
Tel: 07974 064304, email:
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 /
• James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East)
0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 /
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

May 28


Byline: Guests at the RNLI Dart Lifeboat Gala Dinner were greeted at the main entrance of the Dartmouth Golf and Country Club by crew members in uniform and escorted to the ballroom where the evening was given an exciting start.
Page Content: The sound of a pager calling the crew to a simulated "shout" was followed by video footage from recent launches.  
TV Presenter and RNLI Dart Lifeboat Patron, David Dimbleby, arrived straight from the London train to Totnes, just in time to introduce the evening. To a packed house Mr Dimbleby explained just what the Dart Lifeboat meant to him personally. To much amusement he recalled several occasions as an amateur sailor when he would have been grateful for the assistance of the Dart lifeboat before it was commissioned in 2007.
The MC for the evening, Kevin John, crew member and new landlord of the Ship in Dock, then introduced Mitch Tonks of the Seahorse Restaurant and Rockfish chef  Kirk Gosden. The pair of them conducted a "Ready, Steady Cook" on stage, using a temporary kitchen supplied by supporter Richard Griffin of local firm RGC Inspirations. Crew members Chris Tracey and Kevin John produced gourmet seafood dishes under Mitch's expert instruction, to the great amusement of all. The menu for the four course dinner was chosen and prepared by Head Chef Robert Walsh and each wine was introduced by St Austell Brewery's Sommelier, Rebecca Mitchell.
The main event of the evening was the auction of promises conducted with great flair and panache by Jake Moores, former Commodore of Britannia Royal Naval College and Chairman of the Lifeboat Management Group. Tense and exciting bidding led to the sale of the star prize; lunch on board a nuclear submarine, to two winners!   
Summing up the evening RNLI Dart Lifeboat Branch Chairman, Ed Featherstone, said, "This has been a brilliant evening which has exceeded all my expectations. Thanks to the generosity of those who made promises and the local people who made really substantial bids, we have raised more in one evening than ever before. It will go a considerable way towards the running costs of our lifeboat and the training of the crew. We will definitely want to repeat the event in years to come. My thanks go particularly to David Dimbleby for finding the time to attend, Jamie Waugh of Dartmouth Golf and Country Club for his expertise and his generous offer of the Club's facilities and to the key organisers Michelle Concannon of Yorkshire Building Society and Kevin John."  ​​

May 27


Byline: Ladies' club donates cheque for £250 to the running costs of Rhyl RNLI station.
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The ladies of the South West Rhyl 50 plus Social Club meet regularly at the Rhyl Rugby social club for lunch. The monies raised by these meetings have helped 4 charities in the Rhyl area, and Rhyl RNLI was chosen as one of the recipients.

Volunteer Rhyl station Visits Officer Derek Denton paid a visit on 27th May 2014 to the club to receive a cheque for £250 from the club's committee. The ladies were very pleased to see Derek, and made a real fuss of him!

The money is expected to go towards the annual running costs of Rhyl lifeboat station, which involve maintaining both an All-Weather, and an Inshore lifeboat presence in Rhyl, which was the busiest lifeboat station in Wales in 2013. 

Derek says " We are really grateful for donations such as these lovely ladies have made, and this all helps to keep the crews of Rhyl's lifeboats saving lives at sea"

Picture shows Derek Denton, Rhyl Lifeboat education and visits officer, with the committee of the club standing, surrounded by the ladies having their lunch at Rhyl Rugby and Social Club.