RNLI volunteers busy with stranded kayakers and a broken down yacht.

CUT off kayakers and two calls to a broken down yacht have seen Ilfracombe's RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew called out three times in one day.

During exercises yesterday evening (Thursday) the inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II spotted three people cut off by the tide on Haggington Beach shortly after 6.30pm.

They had been exploring on kayaks, and rested on the beach but large waves pounding in to the beach meant that they were unable to get off again, and so the lifeboat crew took them aboard and back to Hele.

Not long after midnight the crew members were back at the lifeboat station, this time to launch the all-weather lifeboat Spirit of Derbyshire, to the aid of a yacht in difficulty to the west of Ilfracombe.

The two people aboard the Maia of Dart believed they had snagged an object when leaving the harbour, and contacted the coastguard for assistance.

When the lifeboat arrived on scene, about four miles from the harbour, two of the lifeboat crew went aboard the yacht and attached a tow.

Due to the extremely low tide, it was not possible to moor her alongside the pier, so volunteer Coxswain Carl Perrin made the decision to leave them at anchor just outside the outer harbour.

At 9.25am, as the tide was at its height, the inshore lifeboat, Deborah Brown II, was launched to give further aid.

With the pair aboard the vessel unable to lift the anchor, the volunteer lifeboat crew aided them to raise it, and then escorted them onto a mooring in the outer harbour.

With the yacht secured, one of the vessel's crew dived under the boat to attempt to clear any obstruction. He believed he could see an object, but could not get to it, and they were advised to moor in the inner harbour, so it could be inspected when the tide went out.

After giving assistance to moor the vessel, the lifeboat crew then returned to the lifeboat station to clean down and refuel the lifeboat, ready for service once more.