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RNLI lifeguards rescue sailor after his boat runs aground

Lifeguards News Release

Lifeguards at Bantham beach in south Devon have come to the aid of a sailor whose vessel ran aground on a shallow sandbank off Bigbury.

Jonathan Warren

RNLI lifeguards returned the man to his sailing boat the follow day.

The sailor had been making his way to the River Avon when he got into difficulty at around 4pm on Monday 9 April.

On duty lifeguards Alex Tucker, Loic Doision and Ivan Burton stepped into action when they spotted the man in trouble, launching their inshore rescue boat.

They reached the man in a matter of minutes, checking he was alright before helping him in attempting to free the vessel.

With the tide dropping it made it impossible for the lifeguards to push the boat off the sandbank and so a decision was made to leave the vessel overnight until it could be towed off the sandbank.

They transferred the man to the inshore lifeboat and he was brought back to the safety of the shore at Bantham where he spent the night at a local inn.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Chris Rampling says: ‘The lifeguards spotted and reacted quickly to the man in difficulty. They regularly train in these conditions and so they were able to reach him and his vessel as soon as possible. We’d always ask anyone who sees someone in trouble in the water to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

The lifeguards dropped the sailor back to his boat in the morning where with the help from a motor boat user the man was towed off the sandbank and able to continue his journey.

It comes during a busy Easter holiday period for the lifeguards.

Notes to editors

  • Pictures with captions/credits attached.
  • Interviews available upon request
  • In 2017, RNLI lifeguards across the south west dealt with 7,982 incidents, assisting 10,080 people

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Emily Lawrence

RNLI lifeguards transferred the man to their inshore rescue boat.

Emily Lawrence

RNLI lifeguards attempted to free the vessel.

Luke Lane

Lifeguards rescue sailor whose boat ran aground

Emily Lawrence

RNLI lifeguards brought the man to the safety of the shore.

Jonathan Warren

RNLI lifeguards returned the man to his sailing boat.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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