The Sidmouth Independent Lifeboat has had 13 callouts so far this year, and the volunteer crew have helped to assist five people and saved two lives.

The lifeboat is responsible for around 150 square miles of sea between Axmouth and Budleigh. Not only do the volunteers get called out to help people in distress at sea, they also offer a lifeguard service on Sidmouth beach during the summer months. As part of their dedication to promoting sea safety, the lifeguards have been giving talks at local schools this last term to ensure that pupils have the knowledge necessary to keep them safe in the sea this summer.

The Sidmouth Lifeboat is funded on public donations and the profits from the Sidmouth Lifeboat Shop (which can be found in the lifeboat station on the Esplanade). It is the generous legacy of people like the late Surgeon Captain Peter Jeffrey Truesdale and his sister Barbara Gates that enabled Arctic 24, fondly known as “Pride of Sidmouth”, which had been on service from 2004 to 2019 and attended 274 callouts, to be replaced in 2019. The new Arctic 24, called “Peter and Barbara Truesdale” in honour of its benefactors, can hold a four-man crew and travel at 45 knots.

This four-man crew generally consists of a Helm, whose job it is to “drive” the boat and oversee all aspects of its operation. Behind the Helm is the Navigator, who helps the Helm to reach the casualty, and maintains the radio communications with other lifeboats in the area. Two other crewmembers assist with the rescue and administer first aid if this is needed.