Search-for-one-man-and-his-dog-is-first-shout-for-Ilfracombe-RNLI-crew-member

Byline: Volunteer crew member Amy Wigley, 18, had her first experience of an all-weather lifeboat shout this afternoon (Monday 14 July), when the call came in from the coastguard to launch the lifeboat for a man and his dog cut off by the tide.
Page Content: Amy, at home in Regent Place, had just finished rinsing dye from her hair when her pager sounded. She wrapped a purple towel around her head, and dragged on a pair of shoes. Then she sprinted out of the door and ran almost half a mile to the lifeboat station, where she was told to put on her all-weather lifeboat kit.

Having experienced several training exercises aboard the Mersey class all—weather lifeboat, Spirit of Derbyshire, Amy was surprised at how different this experience was.

‘The adrenaline always starts pumping the second you hear your pager,’ she explained, ‘but getting to the station and being told that I was going on the Mersey for my first shout was just something else. Excitement, fear, nerves and pride were all going through my head, and the urge to get ready and get on with the job was strangely overwhelming.’

Launching minutes after the D-class inshore lifeboat, Deborah Brown II, Amy and the other volunteer crew members, under the leadership of Andrew Bengey, volunteer Coxswain of Ilfracombe RNLI, headed towards Combe Martin.

The call to the coastguard had initially come from a man who had become cut off by the tide as he walked his dog on a small beach somewhere between Combe Martin and Ilfracombe. With the only information about the location of the casualties being that he could see a white boat to the north of him, the volunteer crew members aboard both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats were maintaining a close watch on the shoreline as they travelled eastwards. The inshore lifeboat crew were the first to locate the casualties, coming into the beach and recovering both man and dog into the lifeboat.

The all-weather lifeboat, mere minutes behind the D-class, stood by to offer assistance if necessary, but once the casualties were aboard the inshore boat it was a simple matter to take them back to Combe Martin beach and leave them with the local coastguard team.

Once the lifeboats had completed their task and were stood down, they returned to Ilfracombe Harbour and were recovered into the lifeboat station. Once the cleaning down and refuelling was completed, Andrew Bengey had a chance to reflect on his newest crew member.

‘The job of my crew as we sailed eastwards was to keep a lookout for the casualties, and Amy was fantastic at maintaining that lookout. She proved a valuable crew member and from the moment that she turned up at the lifeboat station until I stood the crew down she showed the dedication and commitment to the lifeboat and to saving lives at sea that the RNLI expect from every member of the volunteer team.’

Andrew also had words of advice for anyone planning to spend time enjoying the coast around this area;

‘It is very important for people to remember that in the Bristol Channel we have an extremely large tidal range, the second largest in the world. With the very high spring tides at the moment, people should take even greater care, as the water comes in very quickly and they can easily get cut off. What seems to be a lovely deserted cove as you walk along the coast at low tide can suddenly become a great deal more dangerous and threatening as the tide rises. Please do check tide times and heights before heading off.’

RNLI notes to editors
• Please find three photographs attached as follows:
o The inshore lifeboat with the casualties aboard, showing the fast disappearing beach they had been on. Please credit RNLI/Ilfracombe. Please credit RNLI/Ilfracombe.
o The man and his dog with Matthew Simpson and Andrew Day, volunteer crew members aboard the inshore lifeboat, with the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat visible in the background. Please credit RNLI/Ilfracombe.
o Volunteer Coxswain Andrew Bengey with new volunteer crew member Amy Wigley on the bow of the all-weather lifeboat following her first shout as crew. 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 funkymunkymoo@gmail.com  

Byline: Volunteer crew member Amy Wigley, 18, had her first experience of an all-weather lifeboat shout this afternoon (Monday 14 July), when the call came in from the coastguard to launch the lifeboat for a man and his dog cut off by the tide.
Page Content: Amy, at home in Regent Place, had just finished rinsing dye from her hair when her pager sounded. She wrapped a purple towel around her head, and dragged on a pair of shoes. Then she sprinted out of the door and ran almost half a mile to the lifeboat station, where she was told to put on her all-weather lifeboat kit.

Having experienced several training exercises aboard the Mersey class all—weather lifeboat, Spirit of Derbyshire, Amy was surprised at how different this experience was.

‘The adrenaline always starts pumping the second you hear your pager,’ she explained, ‘but getting to the station and being told that I was going on the Mersey for my first shout was just something else. Excitement, fear, nerves and pride were all going through my head, and the urge to get ready and get on with the job was strangely overwhelming.’

Launching minutes after the D-class inshore lifeboat, Deborah Brown II, Amy and the other volunteer crew members, under the leadership of Andrew Bengey, volunteer Coxswain of Ilfracombe RNLI, headed towards Combe Martin.

The call to the coastguard had initially come from a man who had become cut off by the tide as he walked his dog on a small beach somewhere between Combe Martin and Ilfracombe. With the only information about the location of the casualties being that he could see a white boat to the north of him, the volunteer crew members aboard both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats were maintaining a close watch on the shoreline as they travelled eastwards. The inshore lifeboat crew were the first to locate the casualties, coming into the beach and recovering both man and dog into the lifeboat.

The all-weather lifeboat, mere minutes behind the D-class, stood by to offer assistance if necessary, but once the casualties were aboard the inshore boat it was a simple matter to take them back to Combe Martin beach and leave them with the local coastguard team.

Once the lifeboats had completed their task and were stood down, they returned to Ilfracombe Harbour and were recovered into the lifeboat station. Once the cleaning down and refuelling was completed, Andrew Bengey had a chance to reflect on his newest crew member.

‘The job of my crew as we sailed eastwards was to keep a lookout for the casualties, and Amy was fantastic at maintaining that lookout. She proved a valuable crew member and from the moment that she turned up at the lifeboat station until I stood the crew down she showed the dedication and commitment to the lifeboat and to saving lives at sea that the RNLI expect from every member of the volunteer team.’

Andrew also had words of advice for anyone planning to spend time enjoying the coast around this area;

‘It is very important for people to remember that in the Bristol Channel we have an extremely large tidal range, the second largest in the world. With the very high spring tides at the moment, people should take even greater care, as the water comes in very quickly and they can easily get cut off. What seems to be a lovely deserted cove as you walk along the coast at low tide can suddenly become a great deal more dangerous and threatening as the tide rises. Please do check tide times and heights before heading off.’

RNLI notes to editors
• Please find three photographs attached as follows:
o The inshore lifeboat with the casualties aboard, showing the fast disappearing beach they had been on. Please credit RNLI/Ilfracombe. Please credit RNLI/Ilfracombe.
o The man and his dog with Matthew Simpson and Andrew Day, volunteer crew members aboard the inshore lifeboat, with the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat visible in the background. Please credit RNLI/Ilfracombe.
o Volunteer Coxswain Andrew Bengey with new volunteer crew member Amy Wigley on the bow of the all-weather lifeboat following her first shout as crew. 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 funkymunkymoo@gmail.com