It takes all sorts for Appledore RNLI...

Exhausted Estonian yachtsmen, collision at anchor and overturned boats — all in a week’s work for the lifeboat volunteers.

IT has been a busy and varied week for Appledore RNLI, after assisting an exhausted lone yachtsman, colliding vessels and capsized sailors.

On Monday, before 8am, Swansea Coastguard requested the launch of the all-weather lifeboat to help the 6.5 metre yacht Lendur 20 miles west nor’ west of Lundy.

The vessel had left Milford Haven bound for Bude but the single handed Estonian skipper was suffering from exhaustion.

The lifeboat arrived on scene two hours later and two crew members were transferred to the Lendur in the lifeboat’s small inflatable.


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Once onboard they assessed the condition of the weary skipper and rigged a tow rope for the slow tow home – giving the worn out sailor plenty of time to catch up on his rest.

Back at Appledore the yacht was placed on a reserve mooring and the skipper booked straight into a local hotel.

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On Tuesday the RNLI volunteers were roused from their beds before 3am following reports there had been a collision between a fishing vessel and an anchored yacht at Appledore pool.

The inshore lifeboat investigated, the crews of both vessels were accounted for and minor damage to the yacht was checked out. The crew then brought the skipper of the yacht ashore so he could provide a statement to the local coastguard unit.

Later that day they went to help two soggy sailors perched on the upturned hull of their capsized boat by the South Tail sand bar at the entrance to the estuary.

They had been picked up by a small fishing boat but were transferred to the lifeboat where one received first aid treatment for an injury to his arm.

Their capsized vessel was righted by the lifeboat crew, bailed out and towed back to its mooring. At the lifeboat station the casualty was assessed by South Western Ambulance Service paramedics personnel and taken to hospital for further treatment.

On Wednesday, three surfers were reported to be in difficulty near rocks at Saunton.

It transpired two surfers had been helped ashore by members of the local surf lifesaving club, who then searched the area until coastguards confirmed only two had been involved.

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