Rotarians bowled over by Ilfracombe lifeboat

Joseph Bulmer

Braunton Caen Rotary Club calls in at Ilfracombe Lifeboat Station

IT takes Ilfracombe’s volunteer RNLI crew just 15 minutes from the initial emergency call to get kitted up and launch the all weather lifeboat.

For president of the Braunton Caen Rotary Club, Alan Cunnington, together with Rotarian Roger Byrom a little longer than that was just to get into the protective clothing.

Along with other members of the Braunton Caen club they were on a visit to the station where they experienced a practice “shout” while crew members Leigh Hanks and Stuart Carpenter explained the launching procedure both inshore and all weather lifeboats, which at low tide have to be towed out by waterproof tractors.

The Rotarians were full of admiration for the bravery of the crew who put to the sea in the open inshore boat, navigating rocks to rescue those trapped by incoming seas, searching for missing persons and aiding stranded small boat.

“To think they are all volunteers and ready to risk their lives to save others is amazing,” said Roger Lambert, while Alan Cunnington added: “It was a fascinating if sobering visit, as so many lives are saved by a 24 hour service run mainly by volunteers and reliant on charitable donations.”