North Devon’s lifeboats spent 658 hours at sea in 2015

The new Ilfracombe Shannon lifeboat

The new Ilfracombe Shannon lifeboat - Credit: Archant

The RNLI reveals it’s launch figures for the year, with nine lives saved locally

North Devon’s volunteer lifeboat crews launched 121 times in 2015 and saved nine lives.

The RNLI has praised its ‘selfless and dedicated’ volunteers who answer their pagers in all weathers to help those in trouble at sea or on the coast.

In North Devon, 102 people were assisted, with lifeboats spending 658 hours at sea and carrying out 50 shouts after dark.

Ilfracombe had the highest number, with figures from the charity showing the station saw 67 call-outs, 26 for the all-weather and 41 for the inshore lifeboat.

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The crew spent 357 hours at sea, assisted 61 people and saved nine lives.

Appledore’s lifeboats launched 47 times, assisting 30 and spending 260 hours at sea, with 21 services in the dark.

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Clovelly made seven launches, helped 11 people and spent 41 hours at sea, with five after dark services.

Speaking of the South West region, Tom Mansell, RNLI divisional operations manager, said: “The statistics really highlight how hard our volunteer lifeboat crews have worked over the past year.

“Their commitment to saving lives at sea has seen them collectively give up more than 34,719 hours of their time, responding to the call of their pager, as well as taking part in training exercises to ensure they are ready for any situation.

“The dedication that all our volunteers show is truly commendable and we thank them wholeheartedly for the selfless work they carry out, at any time of the day or night and in all weathers.”

The most common launches for South West lifeboats were to sailing boats (353 or 24 per cent) followed by call outs to power pleasure crafts (286 or 19 per cent) and 282 of these were in response to machinery failure.

* RNLI Lifeguards also had a busy year on the region’s beaches, though figures for individual beaches are not available.

But the South West saw 11,100 incidents, with 12,845 people assisted and 55 lives saved.

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