'Please take extra care and be safe in the sea'

Torbay Weekly

Looking back to 2021, the boats launched 113 times, the All Weather Lifeboat launched 51 times and the Inshore launched 62 times, these numbers include 13 times when both boats both launched to the same ‘shout’. This averages out at just over twice a week so the boats were certainly kept busy.

Already this year, up to the time of writing, the boats have launched 11 times, eight times for the ILB and three times for the ALB, including one shout involving both boats.

Although at the time of writing the weather is atrocious there are quiet spells of weather and people are getting out on the water. Three of the launches by the ILB have involved paddle boards and personal water craft.

It’s great if you are getting out and enjoying quieter spells of weather but please take extra care with the weather, it can change quite quickly. With our prevailing South Westerly winds the wind will be offshore at most beaches around the Bay. This creates relatively flat seas and calm conditions at the beach but the breeze will often strengthen as you move further out. Make sure you are strong enough to paddle back in.

Whatever the activity there are some basic tips to follow.

• Always carry a means of calling for help. On a mobile phone call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

• While afloat wear a properly fitted personal floatation device.

• Tell someone where you are going and when you are expected to return.

• If you can, don’t go on your own, paddling in company is more sociable anyway!

• 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.

TORBAY LIFEBOAT FUNDRAISERS

On the fundraising side of things we have had some events to report on. Our first coffee morning of the year was held at Berry Head Hotel with many members enjoying the chance to get out and meet friends. The morning was a great success and raised a record £515.

Our second recent event, and our first in Torquay for some time, was not too well attended, perhaps the long on-going roadworks just outside Torquay put many off but our thanks to Julia and Jamie our Hosts at The Cimon and we will certainly be visiting them again. Our next Coffee Morning is on Wednesday March 9 at Churston Golf Club followed by the Harbour Light in Paignton on Tuesday April 12 so please put those in your diaries.

Our annual meeting (for members only) will be held at Brixham Rugby Club on March 2.

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-tlf22. Gift aid your donation if you are able to.

Become a fundraiserby 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. We are particularly keen to recruit new members from Paignton and Torquay so we can increase our fundraising efforts in these areas. 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 will find a wealth of useful information from the history of Torbay Lifeboat to current shouts and fundraising activities. You can also contact:-

RNLI Torbay Community Engagement Ambassador

David Phillips, 07836 375203

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