Torbay RNLI water safety team are here for you

Vanessa Pope and her lurcher dog Florrie at the station

Vanessa Pope and her lurcher dog Florrie at the station - Credit: Torbay RNLI

RNLI Torbay now have just one all-weather lifeboat (ALB) on the pontoon again, this is the ‘Duke of Kent’ from the RNLI Relief fleet.

Torbay Lifeboat is now on the Isle of Wight for engine repairs – the crew took her to Cowes on April 15, her return date is as yet unknown.

April has been another busy month for the boats. Both boats recorded six shouts.

A shout is recorded when the crew are assembled for a launch, after receiving a call from the Coastguard Service. Sometimes the crew are stood down before launching.

This makes a total of 31 shouts for the year up to the end of April, 12 for the ALB and 19 for the inshore lifeboat (ILB).

Water safety  

Although probably best known for running the lifeboat service, the RNLI is also dedicated to saving lives by prevention and has a water safety team who are out and about spreading the word and advising the public across the Bay.

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This is not just about boating or activities on the water,  e.g. kayaking, and includes, for example, coast walking and dog walking, beach activity and diving.

As an aside, we are titled water safety rather than sea safety as the RNLI provides a service to many of the UK inland waters.

Whatever the activity, there are some basic tips to follow:

  • always carry a means of calling for help
  • while afloat wear a properly fitted personal floatation device
  • tell someone where you are going and when you are expected to return
  • ensure you have the necessary training, clothing and your kit is well maintained and fit for purpose
  • check the weather and tides
  • read signs and be aware of local hazards. 

If you unexpectedly fall into the water, fight the instinct to swim until cold water shock passes and simply float on your back to catch your breath. Keep calm and call for help or swim for safety if you are able. 

If you see a person or animal in trouble, call 999 and ask for the coastguard. Do not go into the water yourself as too many people drown trying to save others or their pets.

The water safety team are here for everyone, so take advantage and give them a call. They can advise on safety matters in general,  what safety equipment  you require and how to use it regardless of your activity.

The water safety team is led by John Turner, Torbay Lifeboat water safety officer.  His contact details can be found under contacts on the Torbay Lifeboat website www.torbaylifeboat.co.uk 

Fundraising

On the fundraising side of things, RNLI Torbay have had a couple of special visits to the station.

On April 23, Vanessa Pope visited. Her lurcher dog Florrie was rescued by Torbay ILB on March 7.

Vanessa was so thankful that Florrie was safely rescued, she completed a sponsored walk and raised £1,037 for Torbay Lifeboat, and came with Florrie to the station to present her fundraising total.

Huge thanks to Vanessa for such a great fundraiser. We are so pleased that Florrie has made a full recovery. 

On April 30, we were visited by John Bird, Worshipful Master Devon Lodge 1138 and Tony Lamar, Lodge charity steward.

The Lodge has donated £250 to the Torbay Lifeboat. They presented a cheque and received a thank you certificate from Lynn Spillett, chair of Torbay Lifeboat Fundraisers. 

John Bird, Worshipful Master Devon Lodge 1138 and Tony Lamar, Lodge charity steward with Lynn Spillett, chair of TLF

John Bird, Worshipful Master Devon Lodge 1138 and Tony Lamar, Lodge charity steward with Lynn Spillett, chair of TLF - Credit: Torbay RNLI

To help support Torbay lifeboats and their volunteer crews, you can:

  • become a member of the RNLI – go to RNLI.org
  • donate to Torbay Lifeboat Fundraisers  - www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rnli-tlf21 and 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. You can also contact me on 07836 375 203.