RNLI volunteers called out as they geared up for carnival procession

PUBLISHED: 10:50 17 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:08 17 October 2017

Carnival Group photo. Picture: Exmouth RNLI

Carnival Group photo. Picture: Exmouth RNLI

Archant

Exmouth’s lifeboat volunteers were tasked to help an overheated fishing vessel just 15 minutes before they were due to be part of the town’s carnival procession.

Carnival assembly, just before pagers sounded. Picture: Exmouth RNLICarnival assembly, just before pagers sounded. Picture: Exmouth RNLI

Exmouth RNLI volunteers won a race against time to be involved in this year’s carnival after a call-out on the same night.

Crew members and their families were gearing up to be part of the annual procession on Saturday (October 14) with an inflatable version of their Shannon-class R and J Welburn in tow.

At around 6.45pm, less than an hour before the carnival was due to begin, crew members pagers were activated by the UK Coastguard.

RNLI volunteers raced back to the lifeboat station to launch the real R and J Welburn to help an overheating fishing vessel off Pole Sands.

Fish supper. Picture: RNLIFish supper. Picture: RNLI

However, when on the ramp, the volunteers were stood down and they raced back in time to join the carnival procession.

Second mechanic Mark Sansom said: “We enjoy taking part in the carnival every year as we feel it’s important to represent our charity in the community.

“As Crew, we’re used to making contingency plans all the time as when our pagers go off we drop everything to launch our lifeboats as lives could be in danger.”

The night before, Exmouth’s award-winning fish and chip shop Krispies, in Exeter Road, provided an RNLI fish supper at the lifeboat station for 41 volunteers and their families.

RNLI awards evening in London. Picture: RNLiRNLI awards evening in London. Picture: RNLi

More than £200 was raised through ticket sales, which included a fish and chip meal and a quiz.

Krispies also raised 10p from the every sale on Friday and Saturday for the charity’s national fundraising campaign.

A group of volunteers from Exmouth also went to the RNLI’s excellence in volunteering awards, in London.

Some 12 volunteers from operations and the charity’s shop at the lifeboat station attended to celebrate their long service to the RNLI.

Full-time mechanic Andrew Stott, crew volunteer Roy Stott both celebrated 20-year long-service awards.

Lifeboat operations manager Kevin Riley shop managers Pat Atkinson and Linda Cawsey and shop volunteers Rachel Hughes and Doreen Welington were also there to collect their excellence in volunteering awards.

Fiona Cotter, Dave Atkinson, Pamela and Mike Diffey and Jill Carter were also in attendance representing the Exmouth shop.

The event consisted of drinks, a two-course meal and talks by the institutions trustees.

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