Appledore and Padstow Lifeboat Stations

RNLI crew members can never predict what they will face on rescues. For the crews of Appledore and Padstow Lifeboat Stations, rescuing a cargo ship and its 3,000 tonnes of scrap metal turned into a 34-hour rough-sea rescue. It was a dramatic and dangerous shout – one that involved three lifeboat crews, two lifeboats and a Dutch warship.

After hours of rough conditions, the RNLI crews held the vessel over 3 miles off the coast to stop it from going ashore. The Dutch warship De Ruyter offered help and managed to secure a tow with some impressive ship handling. The crews worked together brilliantly to protect the ship, its crew and cargo in very difficult circumstances.

‘My crew had been out for almost 17 hours and some were feeling quite unwell … this looked like it was going to be a long shout.’

– Appledore Second Coxswain Owen Atkinson

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