North Devon Gazette reporter rescued by Ilfracombe RNLI

The Ilfracombe RNLI inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II tows Gazette reporter Tony Gussin to safety. Picture: Tony Gussin
The Ilfracombe RNLI inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II tows Gazette reporter Tony Gussin to safety. Picture: Tony Gussin

A boating mishap saw the Gazette’s own Tony Gussin experience firsthand the skills of Ilfracombe RNLI

The view from Tony Gussin's boat on Sunday after the North Devon Gazette reporter's boat broke down at sea. Picture: Tony Gussin The view from Tony Gussin's boat on Sunday after the North Devon Gazette reporter's boat broke down at sea. Picture: Tony Gussin

A North Devon Gazette reporter got to appreciate the value of the RNLI firsthand on Sunday after his boat broke down.

Tony Gussin and a friend were fishing aboard Tony’s boat Yellow Submarine in Combe Martin bay on Sunday afternoon when both engines failed.

They were safely moored to a buoy, but after repeated attempts to start either the main engine or the auxiliary, had no option but to put out a distress call.

The Ilfracombe RNLI inshore lifeboat was soon on scene, a tow line was attached and the pair were safely towed back to Watermouth Harbour.

Tony said: “In a lifetime of fishing I’ve never needed the RNLI but it’s a great comfort to know they are there and the volunteers have my full admiration.

“On Sunday nothing went right – the main engine was working fine and then refused to work when we went to move the boat, while the auxiliary had also become an expensive paperweight.”

Both were wearing life jackets and had VHF radio plus distress flares on board, but Tony added: “It was one of those days – the local radio network seemed to be playing up and everybody had trouble. I ended up calling the coastguard on my mobile phone. Thankfully we were tied off to a buoy and in no danger at all - we were just stuck.

“Thank you to the chap aboard the Ilfracombe Sea Safari boat Voyager for picking up part of my radio call and coming to see if we were alright. With the radio difficulties, it was appreciated that he passed the message on.

“I’m an Offshore member of the RNLI – I joined several years ago thinking it was good karma since I spend so much time near the sea and although I didn’t want to disturb the crew’s Sunday, I’m very glad they were there when we needed them.”

Find out more about becoming a member of the RNLI by CLICKING HERE


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