Sidmouth Lifeboat crew's BBQ interruption

PUBLISHED: 18:51 17 August 2009 | UPDATED: 09:58 18 June 2010

A BATTERED sailboard interrupted a barbeque for Sidmouth Lifeboat crew on Saturday night. We had only just gone up to get our food when our pagers went off, said Mark Roden, one of those who manned The Pride of Sidmouth.

A BATTERED sailboard interrupted a barbeque for Sidmouth Lifeboat crew on Saturday night.

"We had only just gone up to get our food when our pagers went off," said Mark Roden, one of those who manned The Pride of Sidmouth. "We had to drop our food and head off."

The lifeboat was launched at 8.41pm at the request of Portland Coastguard, to investigate the sailboard, which was drifting, with no rider visible, about a mile offshore east of Beer beach.

"They were worried someone was with it," said Mark, "but by the look of it, it had been among the rocks and had no rigging on it."

The white windsurf board was retrieved by the crew and taken back to Sidmouth Lifeboat station, but, said Mark: "It is in such a poor state, smashed up, that it is not worth repairing.

"It could have blown off a beach anywhere and could have been in the sea for a week or two. It looks like a training board from a club."

After returning the lifeboat to the boat station, cleaning it and refuelling it ready for action, the crew - Mark, Phil Shepperd, Simon Priestly and Glyn Jones, with tractor driver Dennis Hutchings - returned to The Swan and their barbeque, which had been kept warm for them.

The evening before (August 7) the lifeboat was launched at around 6.30pm to help with a broken-down speedboat off Seaton beach with eight people on board.

Mark said: "When we got on the scene they were struggling to get ashore off the boat, which they had paddled in.

"The boat was lolling around and we kept the driver on board and towed it to Axmouth harbour."

He said the driver had to wait for the flow of the River Axe to reduce before being able to access the marina.

"On the way back the crew was tasked to search for a vessel in difficulties at Sidmouth harbour," said Mark.

"Coastguards later confirmed the location was Teignmouth harbour and stood us down.

"I would be happy to pick up boats off Sidmouth harbour, as and when it exists.


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