September 2014 update

August is a busy month for Dart Lifeboat and this year was no exception with 5 launches.
5th August we launched in response to a ‘Mayday’ from an 18’ motor cruiser which had lost power close to the rocks at Inner Froward point. She was towed in to the harbour by the lifeboat.
27th August the lifeboat responded to a report of a car over the cliff at Warren Point. Fortunately the occupants had leapt from the vehicle before it fell 70 metres to the beach below. The lifeboat was able to confirm there were no persons in the vehicle before returning to station
28th August was the busiest day with two Shouts. The first to a dismasted racing yacht in Start Bay. The crew was able to help with the rigging and escorted the vessel to safety.

The photo was taken by crewmember Dean Nettleton using the lifeboat’s waterproof camera. We have had long running problems with our video camera but hopefully this has been rectified.
Dart Lifeboat launched again an hour later to assist with a head injury aboard a racing yacht. The Lifeboat Crew was able to give first aid and escorted the vessel back to the harbour where an ambulance was waiting.

 Last shout of the month was on 30th August. A crew member on a 42’ racing yacht had caught both hands in a block and required urgent attention. Dart Lifeboat crewman Haydn Glanvil is also a paramedic and was able to give effective first aid. Due to the severity of the injury the casualty was transferred to the lifeboat and swiftly conveyed to the awaiting ambulance. The lifeboat crew did manage to fit in two displays with RN SAR helicopters on 28th and 30th as well as a rehearsal in Start Bay with the SAR Helicopter.

On 10 and again on 11th August the pagers were activated and the crew assembled but both calls were cancelled prior to launch. One to a missing child at Slapton and the other to a report of a dinghy thought to be in trouble off Hall sands. All our shouts this month were in the afternoon or early evening. At least there were no broken nights for the crew.

Chairmans Corner.

The lease has been signed for 9 years and at last we have secured “The Old Post Office” in South Embankment as our visitor centre and shop. This is a huge advance for the RNLI in Dartmouth and a great opportunity for more volunteers to become involved in the charity that saves lives at sea.
For the first time we will be able to sell just about the whole range of RNLI goods, all day for 5 or even 6 days of the week.

 We will be able to tell the RNLI story, with history, current national and local operations, safety messages and what it takes to be a member of a lifeboat crew. It will be fun but with a serious message. Tracey Lucas will be the manager under the guidance of the RNLI’s Visitor Experience Manager (Channel Division) Amanda Woods. We will all be pushing to open with a VIP event in time for the Easter holidays and there may be an opportunity for a “soft” opening a little earlier to iron out teething problems. Tracey and I will be updating you regularly on developments and from time to time we’ll organise an opportunity for you to visit to see what progress has been made. If you have ideas about the visitor centre we would like to hear from you. If you would like to help in the centre please get in touch with Tracey at

The sun shone on Alan Makepeace and Tracey Lucas with their shop outside the lifeboat station during Regatta. In contrast Flag Day was awfully wet. Many thanks to all of you who helped. The weather was terrible and you did very well.


The Fete was a rip-roaring success, with celebrity guests Captain Henry Duffy, Cllr Hilary Bastone and owner of the Royal Castle Hotel, Nigel Way, in the stocks. By contrast with Flag Day, it was lovely sunny weather and we raised record amounts.

The RNLI Face to Face Team signed up 60 new national members in Dartmouth. All of their subscriptions are credited to RNLI Dart Lifeboat for the first year. The car rally went very well thanks to Simon, Emma and Andora…. and then there was Regatta! Many thanks to everyone who helped.  It was hard work at times but tremendous fun. We are well up on last year’s total sum raised for this stage of the year.


September is the last gasp of summer and time to recover and reflect on what we wish to do over the next 12 months. The committee will be deliberating on this programme next week and I will be able to report next month on how the programme looks. However I can already tell you that we will be having more small events, a Christmas dinner at the Royal Castle Hotel on 4th December and a Louisiana Street Party in the Market on a Sunday in June. Keep those dates clear!
Ed Featherstone.

Posted on Sun 14 Sep 2014 by John Fenton Dart RNLI LPO

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