Station News

You can watch our ILB launching for a shout earlier today HERE

Video courtesy of Vanessa Pope

Coastguard rescue helicopter involved in assisting with shout #36.

Image courtesy of Kim Kendall

Our relief ALB 17 45 passing the ‘Marella Discovery’, with Hms Prince of Wales in the haze 06/06, whilst out on Shout 33.

Photo courtesy of David Taylor Photography.

Some action from from our ILB shout number 30 (30/05/2021).
Both engines had failed on this five metre boat and anchor line also broke resulting in the boat being washed in with one person on board.. It had been moored not far from shore and wouldn’t restart.
Both our ILB and the Coastguard attended.

In reply to some recent queries regarding our own ILB D788, she is currently out of service at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre on the Isle of Wight undergoing a refit.
In her place we have a relief ILB, D836 (Marjorie Boneham), seen here today alongside our pontoon.

Photo courtesy of Dave Smithson

It’s not just our Lifeboat Station you can check on via the WEBCAM – it also gives a pretty good view of other things going on in Torbay!
For example, Cunard’s cruise ship ‘Queen Victoria’ shows up pretty well whilst at anchor in the bay!

Both our reserve ALB and our ILB were called out today (23/04) following a 999 call from a member of the public. The easterly wind had whipped up quite a sea, as can be seen from the action pictures taken by Pauline Challen.
The returning home image in calmer waters was taken by Alena Egan.

Everyone involved in the RNLI sends heartfelt condolences to Our Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, on the death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke of Edinburgh has accompanied Her Majesty on many RNLI occasions and the RNLI gives thanks for his long-standing commitment to maritime services and a lifetime of support to Her Majesty.

Spotted by our Coxswain Mark Criddle this-morning (14/04) whilst he was on the Lifeboat pontoon was this 10′ – 12′ Basking Shark swimming past!

Another great action shot taken yesterday (11/04) showing our relief ALB 17 45 on her away to assist with a SAR shout between Torquay and Teignmouth.

Thanks to Adrian Pearce for the image

This beautiful photo shows our ILB D788, passing the Marella Explorer, as she heads over to Torre Abbey Sands, Torquay in response to a shout yesterday (02/04)

Thanks to Graham Windsor for the image

Yesterday (25/03) saw our relief ALB 17 45 out on a shout to assist a stricken 16′ motor vessel with engine problems.
This stunning photo shows the ALB towing the vessel back into Torquay harbour.

Thanks to Graham Windsor for the image

Sharp eyed spotters will have noticed that there are currently two ALBs on our pontoon – 17 45 (The Duke of Kent) has joined our 17 28 today.
She is a relief boat and will be going into service tomorrow (22/03), providing cover for our own Station boat which will be going for some engine repairs.

Checkout this video (filmed by the pet owner) showing our Inshore Life Boat (ILB) carrying out their 9th rescue this year – one involving a much loved canine friend called “Florrie”..


This message from Florrie’s owner:
“Florrie has been one lucky girl with just broken toes!  For a skinny lurcher that’s pretty amazing! Cuts are super grand she has pain relief .Your team is beyond wonderful and I hope after lockdown to get Florrie down to the station with some goodies for the crew!”

If you missed the recent interview with our Coxswain Mark Criddle on Riviera FM .. you can now listen to the full 14 minutes on ‘Soundcloud’ HERE.

Many thanks to Gareth Wynn,Technical Director at Riviera FM for making this possible.


Today (19/02/2021) our ALB 17-28 was spotted by some eagle eyed watchers out in Torbay. She was not going on a shout, she was partaking in a routine exercise, as the tracking below shows.



During her recent routine visit to Poole for maintenance, our ALB was lifted out of the water to have her hull and prop cleaned of the usual underwater growth of barnacles and weed.
RNLI Torbay’s Mechanic Ash McInally describes the process: “She is hauled out and pressured washed with any debris being collected in tank then disposed of using an environmentally friendly manner. Our hull uses a vinyl wrap which has a smaller environmental impact than anti foul.”
The following three pictures supplied by Coxswain Mark Criddle show exactly why this is necessary to help maintain her design speed of 25 knots and also conserve fuel.


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.

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