Successful year for Lyme Regis RNLI volunteers

PUBLISHED: 11:59 09 January 2020

One of the rescued boys being winched aboard the helicopter. Picture: RNLI

One of the rescued boys being winched aboard the helicopter. Picture: RNLI


The rescue of two teenage boys being swept out to sea off Seaton – and record fundraising - were amongst the highlights of another successful year for the RNLI volunteers at Lyme Regis.

In his annual report, operations manager Nick Marks, praised the crew for its teamwork and training and the Lifeboat Supporters group for its efforts in raising a best-ever total of £40,000 during lifeboat week.

The rescue of two 14-year-old boys being swept out to sea from the River Axe in June is due to be seen in the BBC's Saving Lives at Sea series early in the New Year.

Video, using a helmet camera worn by a crew member, shows the boys' dramatic rescue as they cling to each other at sea.

Footage shot during two other 'shouts' is also expected to be featured in the TV series later this year.

They are the rescue of two ex-professional sailors whose dinghy capsized and the successful search for a woman trapped on cliffs with her two dogs.

In total, Mr Marks said the Lyme Regis lifeboat crew answered 33 emergency calls during 2019, a third of them to people cut off by the tide.

In fact, the very first two 'shouts' of the year involved such incidents in the Charmouth area.

Mr Marks said: "We always urge people to check tide times and general conditions when out walking.

"Although the year was largely successful there was also sadness when an extensive search by our crew, Exmouth lifeboat and the coastguard helicopter failed to find a man who, it later transpired, had died in the Freshwater Bay area."

Senior helm Tim Edwards, who was aboard the lifeboat when the two schoolboys were rescued and who features in the BBC film of the incident, said: "It was a generally safe and successful 2019 and the rescue of those boys will remain with me for many a year.

"It was a wonderful end to an incident that could have been so different. It's what makes all our volunteer work and training so worthwhile."

Youngsters at the Axe Valley Academy later donated more than £700 to the RNLI in Lyme Regis for the rescue of their two fellow students.

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