Three Torbay crew still volunteering 20 years after dramatic rescue

Lifeboats News Release

The bravery of three RNLI volunteers who still serve the charity today is being remembered this week. Its 20 years almost to the day from when they saved the lives of three teenage boys trapped in a cave on a rising tide.

RNLI/Shona Duncan

Nigel Crang

Nigel Crang, Simon James and Nick O’Brien were called out in RNLI Torbay’s Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) to a cave at Roundham Head, Torquay at 19.14pm on 19 April 1999.

Recognising the very real danger that the boys were about to be swept out of the cave in a 3m swell, helmsman Nigel Crang showed enormous skill by steering into the fast-rising spring tide. His seamanship allowed Simon James to get into the water close enough to the boys so that he could get them safely into the ILB.

Soon after the rescue, while awarding the two Torbay volunteers the RNLI’s Vellum of Thanks, the RNLI’s Deputy Divisional Director commended them for their calm thinking and skill in conducting the rescue on the very limits of the ILB’s capabilities. Torbay's current Lifeboat Operations Manager, Nick O'Brien, who also played a key role on the ILB that day in April 1999, received a letter of appreciation from the RNLI's Chairman.

Photo: Nigel Crang, Simon James and Nick O’Brien

Torbay Lifeboat Station Key Facts:

RNLI media contacts

Shona Duncan, RNLI Torbay Acting Lifeboat Press Officer (Volunteer)

07778 002866 or shona.duncan@rnli.org.uk

Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer:

01752 854450 or emma_haines@rnli.org.uk

or RNLI Public Relations at Poole HQ on 01202 336 789 (24 hours)

RNLI online

For more information on the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org.uk. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre https://rnli.org/news-and-media

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 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 180 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. 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 140,000 lives.

RNLI/Shona Duncan

Simon James

RNLI/Shona Duncan

Nick O'Brien

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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