A barge owner needed help from Ilfracombe’s lifeboat crew to move his vessel last night.
The RNLI crew were out training when they were tasked by the harbour master to help move the 60ft barge, which was visiting the area.
The crew were halfway through a training exercise when they were called into action to move the barge from alongside the pier to the inner harbour area.
Ilfracombe RNLI’s newest recruit, 17-year-old Ben Bengey, got his first taste of life as a volunteer lifeboat crewman.
He boarded the barge, along with one other crew member, and assisted the barge owner in moving the boat in the difficult weather conditions.
Volunteer helmsman Stuart Carpenter said the evening had been full of valuable training.
He said: “Even the best planned training exercise can get cut short by an emergency call out, and both our plans and crew members need to be adaptable.
“It has given Ben first-hand experience of the unpredictable nature of being a member of the lifeboat crew.
“He is already fitting in well as part of the Ilfracombe RNLI family, and among the crew he’s becoming known by the nickname Socks – a sure sign he’s been accepted!”