The work of one of the crew of the Appledore lifeboat which this week towed a 45ft long former trawler to safety has been praised by the branch secretary, Mr Ivor Wickersham.
The lifeboat was called out by Hartland coastguards on Sunday after the vessel had been observed in distress near the Fairway buoy.
On board the vessel, the Dorothy, was her new owner, Mr W Lewis of Ramsgate, and his two sons, Clifford and Colin. They had left Appledore earlier the same day on the first leg of a trip to Ramsgate but the adverse weather conditions persuaded them to turn back after passing Hartland Point. In Bideford Bay, first the Dorothy’s two engines failed, then she started taking water, and then her steering packed up.
The Appledore lifeboat took her in tow and because of the weather conditions on the Bar, it was decided to take her to Ilfracombe. One of the crew, Mr Michael Bowden, went on board and using a short tiller, hand steered the vessel the whole way. ‘He did a very good job’ said Mr Wickersham this week. Because of the weather the Appledore lifeboat remained at Ilfracombe for the night.
The Dorothy had been lying at Appledore for about two years since putting into the harbour after getting into difficulties off the North Devon coast while on passage from Ireland to the South Coast.