South Devon lifeboats gather to mark 200 years of the RNLI

  • ITV West Country's Bob Cruwys' joined the celebrations

South Devon’s lifeboat crews gathered to celebrate 200 years of the RNLI. 

Lifeboats from all five stations along the coast of South Devon came together on Sunday 3 March to celebrate two centuries of saving lives at sea. 

Crews from Torbay, Salcombe, Exmouth, Dart and Teignmouth took part in this very special event to mark the 200th anniversary of the RNLI, cheered by hundreds who gathered to show their support.

The lifeboats arrived in convoy from Berry Head into Brixham. 

Crews from all along South Devon joined in.

Richard Fowler, from Torbay RNLI, said: “The lifeboats do an amazing job along the coast. 

“There is an amazing amount of support from the local communities and fundraisers and this is what we are celebrating today, the work that is done throughout the community to support the RNLI.”

The lifeboats moored up alongside each other in Brixham for a service led by the local Fishermen's Mission to bless the fleet, pay tribute to the work they do, and celebrate the close connection they have with these coastal communities.

Helen Lovell-Smith, from Fishermen's Mission, said: “Where I live you can hear that engine, it's around us, we grow up on the sea. 

Hundreds of people gathered to watch.

“I was a Sea Ranger, we are next to the lifeboat, you grow up with these people and I am just really honoured today to be taking that service.”

Nick O'Brien, from Torbay RNLI, said: “It is about saving lives at sea.

“It is about making sure that our coasts are as safe as they can be and that is what the guys and girls who go to sea, that's their main driver so yes I think we are in a good place.”

To mark the official anniversary on Monday 4 March, there will be church bells ringing right around the bay and a service involving schools, choirs and musicians to reflect on 200 years of lifeboat dedication and achievement.