Award for Torbay Lifeboat Crew

Torbay RNLI crew volunteer Nigel Crang, 45, is to receive the Thanks of the Institution on Vellum after the dramatic rescue in May of two people from a grounded yacht in breaking seas.

Two other volunteers who were onboard the D class inshore lifeboat, John Heale, 35, and 37-year old Will Bower, will be presented with Framed Letters of Thanks from the RNLI Chairman.

There will also be written recognition for Richard Fowler, the 2nd Coxswain of the all-weather lifeboat, as he and his crew stood by during the rescue.

Nigel Crang

The incident happened on Sunday 1 May when the lifeboat crews were paged to the two crew of the yacht Blithe Spirit that was aground on Corbyn's Head.

Both the RNLI all-weather and inshore lifeboat crews were launched at 2.55pm and found the yacht had grounded head to sea with waves breaking over her.

Fortunately the crew were suitably dressed and wearing lifejackets.

Immediately it was decided no attempt should be made to tow the yacht off and that it would not be possible to get the Severn class all-weather lifeboat Alec and Christina Dykes close enough because of the breaking swell and the rocky conditions.

This left the volunteer crew of the Torbay RNLI D class inshore lifeboat John William Hirst to take on the job of rescuing the two sailors.

Despite suffering several setbacks the crew volunteers showed great perseverance to achieve a successful outcome and it just shows the value of the RNLI’s continuous crew training programme.