Sid and Alma return and sea training restarts – end of lockdown for Sidmouth lifeboat

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:46 15 July 2020

Sidmouth Lifeboat mascot Sid, back in place after lockdown. Picture: Brian Taylor

Sidmouth Lifeboat mascot Sid, back in place after lockdown. Picture: Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor

Two much-loved Sidmouth characters have emerged from lockdown – Sidmouth Lifeboat’s mascots Sid and Alma.

Sidmouth lifeboat crew wearing PPE. Picture: Sidmouth LifeboatSidmouth lifeboat crew wearing PPE. Picture: Sidmouth Lifeboat

The pair are now back in their customary places on The Esplanade, and have been welcomed by passers-by.

Sidmouth Lifeboat spokesman Charli Ferrand said: “We’ve had lots of people tell us they have missed seeing Sid and Alma out the front of the boathouse, and often have people waiting to put money in as soon as we put them out in the morning.”

With the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, the lifeboat crew have also been able to get out on the water for their Sunday morning training sessions.

Ms Ferrand said: “We are very pleased to announce that we have been able to return to training at sea––but not quite as we once knew it.

A Sidmouth lifeboat crew member wearing PPE. Picture: Sidmouth LifeboatA Sidmouth lifeboat crew member wearing PPE. Picture: Sidmouth Lifeboat

“To ensure the safety of our crew, these training sessions are rostered, with reduced numbers to allow for social distancing, access to PPE for all crew attending and clear hygiene procedures in place.”

The lifeboat has remained on call 24/7 since the beginning of lockdown, but the boathouse had to be closed to the public and the volunteers.

Training had to be restricted to training sessions via video conferencing, focusing on skills such as first aid, coastal recognition, chart-work and weather conditions, along with brushing up on knowledge of equipment and operating procedures.

Ms Ferrand said: “As an emergency service, it is vital our volunteer crew feel supported, well-prepared and confident in their ability to respond to call-outs.

Sidmouth Lifeboat passing Branscombe during at-sea training on Sunday, July 12.    Picture: Caron RuseSidmouth Lifeboat passing Branscombe during at-sea training on Sunday, July 12. Picture: Caron Ruse

“During the lockdown period, our crew successfully responded to five call-outs, but after three months primarily on dry land, it is safe to say we are very pleased to be getting our regular sea legs back again.”

The boathouse remains closed because of the difficulties of maintaining social distancing, but anyone who would like to support Sidmouth Lifeboat by buying its 2021 calendar can do so by visiting https://www.kylebakerphotography.com/shop or emailing finance@sidmouthlifeboat.org.uk

Calendars can also be bought via mail order. Send your name, address and cheque made out to Sidmouth Lifeboat to The Treasurer, The Lifeboat Station, The Esplanade, Sidmouth EX10 8BE. Calendars are £7.00 each, including postage and packing.


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