Salcombe RNLI's newest volunteers prepare for first Christmas on call

By Richard Harding   |   Kingsbridge and Ivybridge reporter   |
Wednesday 8th December 2021 1:00 pm
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Salcombe’s newest RNLI recruits prepare to spend their first festive season on call as charity seeks support to save every one

Volunteer RNLI lifeboat crews around the southwest will be on duty this festive season, ready to launch and answer the call for help. As they call on the public to support the RNLI’s lifesaving work this Christmas, for many of the volunteers, they will be facing their first Christmas with a pager having recently joined the crew.

With thousands of volunteers around the UK and Ireland, each RNLI crew member signs up to save people from drowning – it has been the charity’s mission since 1824. This Christmas many will leave their loved ones behind to answer the call, each time hoping to reunite another family, and see those in trouble at sea safely returned. Over the past decade, RNLI lifeboats have launched over 1,200 times during the festive period.

Fellow Salcombe crew members Charlotte Savage and Amy Cleaves passed out as sea going crew this year and will experience their first Christmas on call.

Charlotte joined the team in January 2020. Born and raised in Salcombe, Charlotte and her family always knew the lifeboat crew and when she found herself in a place that she had the time to dedicate, she jumped at the opportunity to join them.

Charlotte says: “I feel very proud and love being part of something bigger than myself. The team at Salcombe are fantastic, the time and effort every member of the crew is given, to develop their skills and improve is very inspiring. Making you want to work harder and make the most of every opportunity.

I’m excited and looking forward to the Christmas ahead on call. As a school administrator I often get the big busy holidays off work, so I am available to attend shouts. Each one can be so different and a great learning experience. My family are very supportive, my father would have loved the idea of me being part of the RNLI.”

Amy has been shore crew since September 2020 and joined the seagoing crew in April this year. Amy’s Dad was on the lifeboat crew in Newquay in the 1970s/80s and she juggles the role alongside her day job as a structural engineer. As well as being a terrific way to learn and develop sea skills, it is a brilliant opportunity to be part of the Salcombe community and meet an incredible group of people.

Amy says: “I’m really proud to be on the crew. It’s an honour to be part of something as great and well respected as the RNLI. I always look forward to coming down to the station for exercise. Christmas is all about the run up for me so I’m happy to be sitting at home with a dog on my lap next to the pager probably eating cake.”

Rescue at any time of year would not be possible without donations from the RNLI’s generous supporters, helping to fund the essential kit, training and equipment needed by lifeboat crews all year round.

Lucy Ashton, Regional Engagement Manager at the RNLI, said: “Even at Christmas, our lifesavers are ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice and rush to the aid of someone in trouble on the water.

‘We know that every time our crews go out, they hope for a good outcome, but sadly this sometimes isn’t the case. Through people supporting this year’s Christmas appeal, with their help we can get so much closer to our goal of saving everyone.”

To donate to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal, visit: RNLI.org/Xmas

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For more information, you can visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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