Lifeboat back in Torbay after engine repairs

The all-weather lifeboat Alec and Christina Dykes.

The all-weather lifeboat Alec and Christina Dykes. - Credit: RNLI

Torbay lifeboat is now back at our station after a long absence while having her engines repaired on the Isle of Wight.

The crew took relief ALB ‘Duke of Kent’ to Poole last Sunday to collect Torbay’s ‘Alec and Christina Dykes’. 

They left very early Sunday morning and after transferring to Torbay Lifeboat, they left Poole to cross Lyme Bay.

A brief diversion into Lyme Regis for food found them as an unexpected, but welcome, part of Lyme Regis Lifeboat open day!

July has continued to be a very busy summer.

At the end of July, the inshore lifeboat (ILB) has clocked up three shouts and one assembly only and the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) another five shouts.

This makes a total of 70 shouts for the year - 26 for the ALB and 44 for the ILB.

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One of these was a joint ILB/ALB shout with a request to launch after midnight to a person in difficulty off Torquay seafront.

A brief outline of each shout is available to view on the Torbay Lifeboat website. 

Water safety team 

With the huge rise in stand-up paddle boards, kayaking and open-water swimming, we are now spending as much time near beaches as well as harbours and slipways.

To this end, we spent a day at Broadsands and Elberry where we spoke to almost 300 people.

In the main this was kayakers and paddleboarders, who were advised to wear PFDs and carry a means of calling for help.

Swimmers were also reminded of the lane system at Elberry and to tow a marker float. 

In July, we spoke to more than 800 individuals across all water-based activities reminding folk of the key issues to keep them safe:

  • carry a means of calling for help 
  • be aware of weather and tides 
  • wear a PFD - buoyancy aid or lifejacket 
  • have appropriate training 
  • tell someone ashore where you are going and when expected back 
  • ensure your equipment is fit for purpose and well maintained.

The RNLI has received some press coverage regarding the migrant situation in the Channel. 

It is important to recognise that when our crews are tasked by the UK Coastguard and Irish Coast Guard to assist people in trouble at sea, we will answer that call – no matter who they are or where they come from.  

We are there to make sure those in distress get the help they need, as the RNLI has been doing since 1824, without judgement or preference.

Our response to any tasking will always remain selfless and humanitarian – treating all casualties with skill, care and respect, and bringing them to safety as quickly as possible. 

It is not for us to get involved with questions about border controls, immigration or the legality of right to remain.

These questions are for the Government and the various agencies supporting this work.

History of the pager 

Since 1824, courageous lifeboat volunteers have dropped everything to launch to a rescue when the call for help comes.

 But, when it comes to receiving the call for help, crews have been on quite a journey to sound the alarm over the years! 

From someone shouting to alert the lifeboat crew, to the bleeping of a pager, you can discover the evolution of how our lifeboat crews hear of an emergency at sea by going to the RNLI website.

Fundraising 

The RNLI life-saving service is funded by donations and fundraising and as always, TLF volunteers have been out and about around the Bay recently, carrying out our  fundraising in the fresh air.

We can be found every Friday evening, 5pm to 8pm, until the end of August at the Paignton Harbour Craft Market, with our stall selling RNLI souvenirs and generally chatting to people about what we do.

Cover the flag

Cover the flag. - Credit: RNLI

Our Cover the Flag sessions - covering the RNLI flag with coins - are popular and will continue in August, weather permitting, on August 7 to August 14 outside the lifeboat station, on August 11 with a souvenir stall at Paignton seafront and August 21, 22, 28 and 29th  in Fore Street, Brixham, and outside the lifeboat station.

We will have contactless machines to allow you to donate if you have run out of coins!   

Two annual events which regular visitors may be looking for are our seaside special day on August 15 and our lifeboat annual dedication service on August 22.

Due to the high numbers of Covid cases in Torbay these events, where large numbers of people would normally be within close contact of the lifeboat crew, have unfortunately been cancelled for this year.

With our TLF fundraising programme still fluid due to Covid restrictions, the best place to find out about what we are up to is to visit our Torbay station website or TLF social media (Facebook).

At lot of businesses around the bay support the RNLI by displaying our collecting boxes or organising fundraising events. We are most grateful for this, please support them where you can.

Lifeboat station retail kiosk 

The kiosk is undergoing a facelift with new graphics being installed soon! Come visit us and browse our fantastic range of RNLI products. 

We are desperately looking for a new kiosk manager to take some pressure off our chair, Lynn.

If you have some time to spare, are based in Brixham and would like to help, please make contact with me on 07836 375 203. I will pass your details on to Lynn.

If you would like to help support our lifeboats and their volunteer crews, here are some ways you can:-

  • Become a member of the RNLI – go to RNLI.org 
  • Donate to Torbay Lifeboat fundraisers (TLF). Use our Just Giving page. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rnli-tlf21 Gift aid it if you are able to. 
  • Become a fundraiser by joining TLF and/or volunteering to help at events. Do something extraordinary and give your time and skills to us. Every hour that’s volunteered will help save lives.  Fundraising events are held around the bay throughout the year. To find out more go to our Facebook page @TLFTorbay 
  • Follow us on social media - spread the word, like, share or retweet our posts. 
  • For more information on all RNLI Torbay activities go to www.torbaylifeboat.co.uk