Cheque sent for Hope Cove and Tamar boats

The MCA have snubbed a bid by a private benefactor to save two Coastguard rescue boats from being discontinued. The businessman, who does not wish to be named, sent the MCA a cheque for £3,600 to pay for the running costs of the 20ft RIBs, based at Hope Cove and Tamar in Devon. The RIBs are regularly used in rescues at sea, but the MCA say they are only patrol boats and that the area is already covered by the RNLI lifeboats at Salcombe and Brixham.

But locals at Hope Cove say there are times when it is difficult for the Salcombe boat to get out of harbour because of the bar at the entrance and also that they are nearer to the potentially dangerous headland at Start Point.

The MCA sent the cheque back and stated that it was not the cost of the ‘patrol boats’ which has put them under threat, but ‘operational need’.

Just last month a local fisherman in a 20ft open wooden boat who had engine problems was drifting towards the rocks at Bolt Tail. He set off a flare and was spotted by a passing yachtsman who alerted the Coastguard.

The Hope Cove RIB, launched and rescued the boat before the Salcombe lifeboat turned up.