Quieter year for Appledore lifeboat crews

APPLEDORE lifeboat station reports 2011 as one of its quietest years for some time, with 35 ‘shouts.’

This compares with a particularly busy previous three years, with responses to more than 60 emergencies in 2010 - when crew members were also undergoing training for the arrival of their new all-weather lifeboat Mollie Hunt - and 80-plus in the two record years before that, making it one of the busiest stations in the South West and Bristol Channel.

There were also nine ‘stand downs’ during 2011- when crew members responded to calls, but the situations were resolved without the need to launch the lifeboat.

“We would like to make it clear that we have no problem with false alarms,” said a lifeboat spokesperson. “We would much prefer to be asked for help and then stood down, than not to be asked and someone to lose their life.”

In the station’s annual review Appledore RNLI thanked those who helped and supported in any way throughout the year, including the volunteer crew and their families, fundraisers, local companies who donated raffle prizes or provided venues, box collectors, souvenir staff, event organisers and many others. Also the local employers who release their staff, without warning, every time an emergency pager goes off.

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Eight new crew members were welcomed to the Appledore station during the year and a new Deputy Launching Authority.

As crew members progress through their training, the station is again looking for more trainee crew members, especially those in their late teens and early twenties. Anyone interested is invited to go along and meet the crew when they are practising on a Tuesday night.

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Although RNLI appeals nationally to raise funds in hard times, Appledore was delighted to announce that its own fundraising guild and supporters have set a new fund raising record for the year, although the final amount is still awaited as there is more to come in.

The annual review also brought an appeal to boat owners.

As well as normal annual maintenance on your boats the winter, they are asked to also check their moorings thoroughly from the sinker to the fixings as the station receives many requests to retrieve boats which have broken their moorings and are becoming a navigational hazard to shipping.

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