Busy Easter for Appledore lifeboat

EASTER week was one of the busiest ever for the volunteers of the Appledore RNLI with four emergency call-outs and three days of fund raising. These including a major incident on Good Friday evening when Appledore's main lifeboat was called to join in a s

EASTER week was one of the busiest ever for the volunteers of the Appledore RNLI with four emergency call-outs and three days of fund raising.These including a major incident on Good Friday evening when Appledore's main lifeboat was called to join in a search for a missing person. Two people had been cut of by the tide at Morwenstow. Bude inshore RNLI rescue boat and Culdrose rescue helicopter were tasked to help and one person was winched to safety. But it became clear the second person, thought to be in his early 20's, was still missing and the Appledore lifeboat, a rescue helicopter from Chivenor, a police helicopter, Bude and Hartland Coastguards were all were called out to help. At 11pm the search was stood down as no-one had been found and the tide was well on the way out again. As the tide was one of the lowest of the year it was not sensible for the Appledore boat to return to station at that time and, to allow the crew some sleep, the lifeboat moored off Clovelly, before returning home the next morning. Coastguards continued to search for the missing person on Saturday, but no-one has been found.Martin Cox, Appledore RNLI Coxswain, repeated a plea for people to be aware of the tides when they go walking on the beach. "The water comes in very quickly and it is easy to get cut off by the water encircling rocks and cliff faces. A nice walk can so easily end in terrible tragedy," he said.Other calls over the holiday week included going to the aid of a jet skier in difficulty in the estuary on Easter Sunday. A private boat went to help until the inshore lifeboat arrived and towed him to safety at Churchfields car park.The previous Thursday, during severe late afternoon gales, three surfers had got into difficulty at Barracane Beach, north of Woolacombe. Both the Appledore inshore and all-weather lifeboats were called to help in their rescue, but the Chivenor rescue helicopter arrived on scene first and winched them all to safety.The day before, Appledore's inshore lifeboat was called to the aid of a speed boat which had broken down in the estuary near the Appledore Shipyard. It was towed to safety.For three days over Easter the Appledore Lifeboat Guild members were busily raising money for the Appledore RNLI at Plymco Co-op in Clovelly Road, Bideford.. As well as the usual RNLI souvenirs, 120 Easter chicks had been knitted by local ladies and stuffed with Easter cream eggs. There were also Easter egg mugs and a raffle for Kevin Coxswain Bear. "Without this type of voluntary fundraising help the RNLI could not afford to operate and save lives," said a guild spokesperson.

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