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Follow our simple tips to be safe on the water

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: July 11, 2013

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FIRST we would like to thank everyone who attended and helped out at the jazz evening on the Oldenburg recently.

Our thanks must be extended to the owners of the Oldenburg for allowing us to use this superb venue alongside Bideford Quay.

The fish and chip supper, cooked by mobile Priors Fryers, served 180 people and Steve Tucker's jazz band entertained our guests.

Hocking's ice cream van was on hand for those who wanted dessert, and many raffle prizes were donated, with the star prize of the evening donated by www.holidaycotttages.co.uk raising even more money in support of the station.

The following evening on Armed Forces Day at a fundraiser in Appledore, guests were entertained by a talk about the area's involvement in the Second World War.

The organiser, Doug Spiller, chose Appledore Lifeboat Station as one of the four charities to benefit from this event.

Our thanks to all those involved. The two events raised approximately £2,000 between them, all for Appledore RNLI.

Our annual open air Sea Sunday Service, with Appledore Silver Band as always playing the music, was on July 7, and hopefully, by the time this goes into print, Pat Hughes and her crew aboard yacht Sea Sense will have returned to her mooring in the estuary, having completed a sailing trip around Ireland in aid of the RNLI, which started at the beginning of May.

Well done to Pat, her team of crew members and Paddy Bear, the lifeboat bear that accompanied them and obtained the signatures of the crew of 20 lifeboat stations in his own log book.

Don't forget our sponsored walk between Clovelly and Appledore lifeboat stations is taking place this year on September 28.

If you fancy joining in and raising some money for either station, contact Appledore lifeboat station on 01237 473969 for more information.

Thankfully, we have only had two shouts since our last newsletter.

One was on Monday, June 24 at 8.30pm. Visiting yacht Boni had come into the estuary and picked up the relief RNLI mooring, on which the boat planned to spend the night.

However, as he went to moor he got the ropes wrapped around his keels and required lifeboat crew assistance to untangle the boat.

The second emergency shout was two days later on Wednesday, June 26, when our coxswain, watching from his garden at 7.15pm, saw a small cabin cruiser being swept broadside up the river.

It was clear the owner was trying to get his boat started with no luck. The casualty then started to wave for help from people walking along the beach.

Obviously in need, the coxswain activated the crew pages, calling for a crew for the inshore rescue boat, and informed the coastguard what was going on.

As the lifeboat was launched the casualty eventually managed to get his own engine going, the crew made sure the boat and the owner were OK, the crew returned to station and the boat owner resumed his fishing trip.

All was well.

We hope the summer will continue to go well and we do not have another bumper summer of boating emergencies.

Please help by checking your boat before you go out. Ensure you have life jackets on.

Take enough spare petrol – work on a third more than what you think you will need.

Check your engine and spares and know the basics of how to restart your engine in case of breakdown.

If you have not used your engine for a while, take it round the estuary before heading out to sea to ensure all is well.

Take some means of calling for help, a VHF radio is best as everyone in the vicinity should hear your call for help, if needed, and may be with you quicker than the lifeboat if they are sailing nearby.

Tell someone on land where you are going and when you are due back so they can raise the alarm if you do not get home in time.

Check the weather and the tides before you go.

Most of all – have respect for the sea.

Meantime, the crew continue to train hard every week to ensure they are ready to respond to all emergency calls for help at any time of the day or night, rain or shine.

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