Onlookers were surprised to see real life rescue during event at Clovelly this weekend.

HUNDREDS attended the Clovelly Maritime Festival on Sunday for a fun day out, but instead ended up seeing the Clovelly Lifeboat launched.

Visitors who came to the festival witnessed the lifeboat being launched into the sea to go and find a fishing boat which had suffered an engine failure.

It’s rare that so many members of the public see an emergency call such as this one.

Mark Turnock, a Clovelly resident attending the Maritime Festival, said: “It was fantastic to actually see a real launch and recovery like this.

“It also reminds us that the crew are all volunteers, saving lives at sea.”

Tom Wiersma, lifeboat press officer for Clovelly, and festival compere, said: “It was very appropriate that there should be a shout during a maritime festival, reminding people of the dangers of the sea as well as its pleasures.”

The stricken vessel was located in the water shortly after 2.30pm and towed back to Clovelly where she was safely moored within an hour-and-a-half.