Sea rescues could soon be down to the ‘X-factor’

The X-boat being launched from the lifeboat. Picture: Seb Cope

The X-boat being launched from the lifeboat. Picture: Seb Cope - Credit: Archant

Lyme Regis lifeboat crew can now summon up ‘the X-factor’ to help save lives.

The X-boat afloat with two lifeboat crew members aboard; Picture: Seb Cope

The X-boat afloat with two lifeboat crew members aboard; Picture: Seb Cope - Credit: Archant

The RNLI volunteers have been given a special ten-foot inflatable boat with oars to assist in rescues.

Called an X-boat it will help them reach people stranded on the shore.

Volunteer lifeboat operations manager Nick Marks explained: "The idea is to try and avoid asking crew members to swim ashore to reach people, particularly those cut off by the tide.

"This has sometimes been necessary when the lifeboat has been unable to get close to shore safely."


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The crew is currently evaluating the value of the inflatable which is taken aboard the lifeboat and then later rowed ashore to offer reassurance, or even first aid, to anyone in trouble.

Mr Marks added: "We are hoping the X-boat will improve our operational ability still further to assist those in difficulty ashore."

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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.

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