RNLI tributes to lifeboatman

Joseph Bulmer

Crew devastated by man’s death

COLLEAGUES have been paying tribute to volunteer Clovelly lifeboat helmsman Jonny Staines, 36, whose body was found at Life Rock, near Hartland Quay on Good Friday.

The circumstances of his death are being investigated, but police have said it appears to have been a tragic accident.

A full-scale air and sea search was launched last Thursdsay evening when Mr Staines was reported missing after failing to return from a walk.

His own volunteer colleagues at Clovelly Lifeboat Station played their part in the search, which resumed at first light on Good Friday. Mr Staines’body was found by emergency teams at Life Rock, in the Hartland Quay area at 2pm.

Neil Wonnacott, senior volunteer RNLI lifeboat helmsman, said:‘I speak for the crew at Clovelly lifeboat station in saying that Jonny was a much loved, valued and respected member of the crew, and friend to us all, who will be sorely missed. We offer our sincere thanks to all involved in the search operation.’

“The RNLI’s thoughts are with Jonny’s family and friends, and with his fellow crew members at Clovelly.”

Nigel Jones, RNLI Deputy Divisional Inspector, sasid: “We send our deepest condolences to Jonny’s family and friends at this terrible time. When a search and rescue operation ends with such a tragic outcome, it is always difficult, but particularly so in this instance, as Jonny was one of the RNLI family. The lifeboat crew are devastated about this sad news and will take time to come to terms with the loss of one of their volunteer colleagues.”