Reliability, Performance, Compliance


Flares fired as man and dog rescued from grounded catamaran


A man and his dog have been saved from a catamaran battered on rocks after UK rescue teams fired flares and used a Linethrower to reach the vessel in challenging conditions early one September morning.

Bideford Coastguard Rescue Team and Appledore and Clovelly lifeboats were paged by UK Coastguard to locate a catamaran on the rocks at Abbotsham Cliffs, Devon. They found the vessel in the surf line being pushed onto the rocks by the incoming tide.

Clovelly and Appledore lifeboat crews were paged to assist one man and his dog aboard the catamaran, Appledore Lifeboat reports.

The RNLI volunteers were on scene before 3am. The initial assessment was that the vessel was stuck fast on the rocks inside the breaking surf.

Because of the rising tide and fears that the boat might float off, Clovelly Lifeboat tried to get close to pass a tow line, but because of the rocks, this was not possible. When the Appledore all-weather lifeboat arrived its small inflatable Y-class boat was launched to try and get in closer, but without success.

The Appledore Lifeboat crew then fired two parachute flares to illuminate the area and Clovelly Lifeboat fired a rocket line ashore to tow the vessel clear. The casualty reported that the hull had breached and water was coming in at an alarming rate.

Bideford Coastguard Rescue Team sent a coastguard rescue officer into the water attached to a floating line to do a tethered swim and rescue the casualty and the dog. The two were cold and shaken up, but unhurt. Unfortunately, the boat could not be saved.

Clovelly crew member and Lifeboat Press Officer Rob Weare says, “This was a challenging multi agency rescue involving Bideford Coastguard Rescue Team and RNLI Lifeboats from Clovelly and Appledore in which a sailor and his dog's lives were saved. This is why we all train so hard - at any time of the day or night the pagers can go off and the volunteers can be met with some incredibly challenging situations that can change rapidly.”

The image is courtesy of Bideford Coastguard Rescue Team.

Sep 13, 2017