Station News

Torbay Cox Achieves 500th Shout During Pandemic

“The crew can go without the Coxswain but the Coxswain can’t go without his crew”, so said Mark Criddle when talking about what a team effort achieving his 500th shout had been in a BBC Radio Devon interview with Gordon Sparks this week.   

Listen to the full interview HERE

As one of the RNLI’s most decorated and longest serving Coxswains, Mark Criddle has been involved with 835 shouts and saving 123 lives since joining the charity as volunteer crew in 1994.
Read more here ….

Portrait of Torbay Coxswain Mark Criddle.


I couldn’t explain to you in words how someone looks, the relief on their faces when everything else in life is going wrong at that point and the lifeboat turns up”,  so said RNLI Torbay Coxswain Mark Criddle OBE during a chat with Jeremy Paxman for a new podcast released this week.

Having read the RNLI’s Surviving the Storms book, among the wide ranging chat the two had, Jeremy wanted to talk to Mark about the Ice Prince shout of 2008 when Mark and his crew of RNLI Torbay volunteers rescued 8 of the 132 metre cargo ship’s crew before the 44-tonne coaster capsized and sank.  Mark, who was awarded the RNLI’s Silver Medal for Gallantry for his role in the rescue effort, said: ‘I’m proud to see this story featured in the book, alongside so many other incredible rescues by the RNLI’s lifeguards and lifeboat crews right across the UK and Ireland.’

To order a copy of Surviving the Storms visit

You can listen to Jeremy Paxman’s podcast featuring Mark Criddle, on Acast, Spotify, iTunes or wherever you get your podcast content.

Young family’s lives saved after their sinking boat was scuppered on rocks

Lifeboats News Release Wednesday 9 September 2020

RNLI Torbay volunteers rescued a family of two adults and four children under four years old from rocks in Torquay yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 8 September) after the 24ft motor boat they were in started to sink rapidly.

RNLI launched both its inshore and all-weather lifeboats yesterday at 14.37 after reports of the family in danger. As their vessel started to sink, the father managed to run their boat onto the rocky shoreline and he and his family scrambled to shore with some help from onlookers. Our RNLI Torbay volunteers arrived within 10 minutes of launching from Brixham and ferried the family to the safety of our larger all-weather lifeboat using our smaller inshore vessel.

Mark Criddle OBE, RNLI Torbay’s Coxswain, said: ‘This man did absolutely the right thing in running their boat onto the rocks where his family all managed to scramble to safety. The family were distressed but otherwise unharmed although their vessel could not be saved. This could easily have been a very different and sad ending and I have no doubt that this man’s quick thinking saved his family’s life.”

Author: Shona Duncan. Lifeboat Press Officer, Torbay Lifeboat Station

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