Chairman’s update

June 2020

As we enter a period where there appears to be a gradual easing of “Lockdown” restrictions, I write to update everybody on the status of the Lifeboat. The Covid19 pandemic has brought about several issues, all of which we have had to address, and will continue to present challenges to be faced in the future. However, amongst all this confusion, the one certainty that has been constant, is the fact that throughout it all, the lifeboat has remained and will continue to remain on call 24/7. So much so that during the last weekend of May the boat responded to 10 call outs over 3 days, all with a happy ending. This is due to the commitment, dedication and professional of the crew, who have all been exemplary during the Coronavirus emergency.

Adhering strictly to Government guidelines, and heeding advice from other rescue services such as the RNLI and the MCA, we have appraised some of our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) primarily to ensure the safety and welfare of all crew, but also to protect any casualties we have to deal with during the course of our work. This has not been easy, and all crew have contributed in a meaningful way, and we have invested in PPE where appropriate. The new procedures appear to be working, but of course, they are discussed and altered where necessary, after every shout.

During the pandemic, the crew have not been able to train in the traditional way, due to obvious reasons, but a weekly “ zoom” meeting, and a regular exchange of mutual “what’s apps” has kept all the crew on their toes, kept them in touch with developments, which have sometimes changed on a daily basis, but most importantly have done much to boost crew morale, which is high.

The new Drive Off Drive On (DODO) launch system is proving to be successful, although like everything there were teething problems during its development. The boat itself remains in tip top shape, although some of the more sophisticated equipment constantly needs “ tender love and affection”. At the moment, with the MCA not using their part of the Station, we are able to keep both the launch vehicle and the boat, in the building. However, when they return, it is pleasing to know that we have been granted planning permission, and more importantly , permission from the Crown Estate, to build a self contained housing for the boat and launch vehicle next to the Station.

Away from “the sharp end” the financial situation at the moment is reasonably healthy. However, this must not be treated with complacency. Since “lockdown” a significant number of our regular income streams have dried up. For example, we have quite a number of collecting boxes in pubs, cafes, restaurants and hotels, all of which are shut.  We regularly sell merchandise such as sweatshirts, mugs, caps, tea towels etc. through “The Hope and Anchor”, which is shut. We have a merchandise stall on high days and holidays, which have just not happened. Several organisations and hostelries have in previous years held quizzes, coffee mornings, bring and buy sales etc, and once again these have just not happened. Our Annual Golf Day has been postponed, the Summer Fair cancelled along with the Big Band Concert.

Whilst income has dried up, outgoings have remained constant, but as long as we are prudent, we will have enough to see us through, before the next income stream comes on tap. On a more optimistic note, the 50/50 Club continues to thrive, and with a membership of nearly 300, we are grateful to members for their continued support which Enables us to pay major Annual bills such as insurance and essential servicing.

In a nutshell the LifeBoat is in good heart. For everybody, the next few weeks, months, maybe years will not be easy, but we will get through. It is because of the passionate support of all crew, all trustees, and all supporters, that I know this, and am grateful to all for their continued voluntary dedication.

Graham Phillips.   Chairman. Hope Cove Life Boat

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Press Release from : Graham Phillips ( Chairman of Hope Cove Life Boat )

It is both flattering and humbling to think that we have even been nominated for such an award, bearing in mind the enormous amount of voluntary work that goes on around the Country, by so many people, from so many walks of life. It is both a privilege, and an honour to realise that Hope Cove Life Boat has been chosen as a recipient of the award.

As you know this award is made to ‘a group’ for the collective labours of all concerned. The Life Boat is grateful to the efforts of so many, not just within the small community of Hope Cove, but the wider community of The South Hams, Devon, the rest of The U.K., and even further afield.

It would be invidious to single out any individuals or groups of individuals, as we are aware of the important part that everyone who is, or has been, associated with the Life Boat plays. However, I am going to make special mention of ‘The Crew’. The tireless work of hordes of ‘backroom personnel’ has enabled the boat to exist, BUT, without the ceaseless efforts of the crew, the craft would not operate. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year these men and women, risk their lives voluntarily, to protect and save the lives of others.

Everybody has worked so cheerfully and incessantly to ensure the success of Hope Cove Life Boat, and I feel extremely privileged and proud to be their Chairman.

Below are some links to mentions in local and regional newspapers, local radio and even BBC and ITV television sent crews to film the boat in action. Links to most of these items are below;

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