ILFRACOMBE'S two lifeboats have seen a busy weekend as crews dealt with four call outs in three days and helped a total of nine people. On Thursday the Inshore Lifeboat was called to Heddons Mouth after three people were cut off by the tide and unable to

ILFRACOMBE'S two lifeboats have seen a busy weekend as crews dealt with four call outs in three days and helped a total of nine people.On Thursday the Inshore Lifeboat was called to Heddons Mouth after three people were cut off by the tide and unable to get back because the river which divided the beach was in full spate.A 12-year-old boy had been swimming in the sea when he was washed along the shore and became trapped by river.He was unable to get back across, so his father and a member of the public swam across to help, but all three became marooned.The lifeboat stood by whilst the trio were winched to safety by a Sea King rescue helicopter from RMB Chivenor and returned to dry land, where they were met by members of Ilfracombe Coastguard and proved to be none the worse for their ordeal.Returning to station, the crew were in action again after spotting four holidaymakers stuck on the beach at Broady Cove near Ilfracombe Pier.The Leicestershire family had borrowed a friend's inflatable boat with an outboard motor, but became stuck in the beach when the surf built up as the tide turned. The boat had almost capsized as they tried to break through the surf. Lifeboatman Mark Tucker went ashore to assist and the ILB towed out the two children aged nine and 11 before returning for their parents. The family were wet and cold and shaken by their ordeal."They were very lucky we spotted them on our return to station," said Mark."They could easily have capsized and were not prepared for the weather or sea conditions. No-one was wearing lifejackets and they weren't carrying the appropriate safety equipment."On Friday afternoon the Inshore Lifeboat went to the aid of two children cut off by the tide at Hele Beach. The Spanish students were located on the western side of Hele and landed safely back at the shore where they were met by Ilfracombe Coastguard Rescue Team.A busy weekend concluded with on Sunday lunchtime when the All Weather Lifeboat Spirit of Derbyshire went to the aid of the 31-foot yacht Farrago off Foreland Point at Lynmouth.Enroute from Bristol her sails had torn and the engine failed, whilst the yacht owner was suffering from seasickness. Two lifeboat crew members went aboard to attach a line and the vessel was towed back to Ilfracombe Harbour.