The RNLI and Other Services

All demands for the coastal rescue services (including their own cliff rescue teams and patrols) are initiated and coordinated by H. M. Coastguard, on receipt of "999" or other emergency calls. HMCG can only request the services of an RNLI lifeboat; the final decision to launch is the responsibility of the Local Operations Manager and/or the lifeboat Coxswain. A call-out may include working with the Sea King rescue helicopters of "A" flight 22 Squadron RAF (stationed at Chivenor, 6 miles south of Ilfracombe) with whom regular winching practice takes place. Exercises have included working with firemen who may need to be ferried to a vessel in distress. The most frequent exercises take place with the local coastguard team. These can include practice in shore-line searches of difficult areas, and in the medical evacuation of “casualties" by stretcher and boat.