News update

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RNLI Visitor Centre volunteers became honorary members of the RNLI Flood Relief team.
There are three members of the RNLI Dart lifeboat crew who are also members of the RNLI South Division Flood Rescue team but when Jo and Harry Escott called into the Visitor Centre on the South Embankment at 9am on Tuesday 23 May they quickly had to develop flood rescue skills of their own. They found the Centre was flooded with water cascading down from the ceiling and soaking the stock. John Butler, another of the Visitor Centre volunteers, came to join them and established that the leak was from a washing machine in the flat above. Crab buckets were strategically positioned under the worst of the cascades, the stock stands were moved to safety and the soft toys were “rescued” by the exhibition D class lifeboat. The water kept coming down long after the leak was stopped. Three days later the electricity could be switched on and a large de-humidifier helped to dry out the Centre.
On Saturday six of the lady volunteers came to restock the shelves and the Centre re-opened to the public on Bank Holiday Sunday. We are now enjoying a busy half term week with lots of visitors. We will need to close for a few days in the near future to allow for repairs to be made, but until then (and after) we look forward to welcoming many people to the RNLI Visitor Centre and enjoying a busy summer. The Centre will be open from 10.30am until 4pm daily.

Ops report
The inshore lifeboat volunteers have also been very busy. On Wednesday 24 May they were called out three times in one day; the second time this has happened this year. At 6.30pm they were tasked to assist two yachtsmen on a 37 foot Jeanneau yacht with engine failure due to contaminated fuel. The crew used an alongside tow to deliver them to a berth at Darthaven Marina. They had not returned to the station before they were called by a local fisherman, also with engine failure and drifting towards Coombe Rocks. He anchored 100 feet from the rocks and was towed back to his berth at Noss.
The third call out was at 11pm and was a false alarm. A Totnesian reported that he was trapped under the A381 bridge. The crew made their way up the river in total darkness with great difficulty as it was an extremely low Spring tide. The Police found the caller in his home. The crew did not manage to return to the lifeboat station until after 1am. Fortunately our volunteers have rarely been called out to hoax calls.
There have also been two recent Medivac callouts; one from Castle Cove where a Dartmothian had fallen 15 feet and injured his lower back and a second where an elderly gentleman from near Exeter had fallen on the cruise ship Serenissima and fractured his hip.
The volunteers have responded to 13 call outs so far in 2017 so it looks like being a busy year.

Forthcoming events.
On Saturday 15 July thirty five members of the Britannia R N Volunteer Band will be entertaining us with “Music for a Summer’s Evening” The concert will be held in St Saviours church starting at 7.30pm. Tickets at £10 will be available from mid June at the RNLI Visitor Centre on the South Embankment.
The RNLI Dart annual Fete will be held in the Royal Avenue Gardens on Thursday 27 July. All the usual stalls and entertainment will be there for what promises to be a highly successful event.
If you are able to help at the Fete or the Flag Day on Friday 4 August please contact Tracey Lucas at the RNLI Visitor Centre. Tel 01803 832423 or on the contact us page on our web site www.dartlifeboat.org.uk

John Fenton
RNLI Dart Lifeboat Press Officer

Posted on Wed 31 May 2017 by John Fenton Dart Lifeboat Press Officer

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