Launch Process

Four local persons with seagoing experience have agreed to act as the launching authority to the Hope Cove Lifeboat.

These people, together with the senior Coxswains, will be the first point of contact in times when the Lifeboat is required.  They will decide if weather conditions fall within the guidelines and if the casualty is within our area of operation.  They will then be responsible for alerting the crew and tractor driver.

The hardest part of their job will be to decide if conditions are too bad and the boat will not be launched.

It has been decided that the boat will operate between the Hamstone in the east and the River Erme in the west.  This will be up to a distance of 2 nautical miles offshore.  There will be upper limits of wind speed, differing between day and night.

We are awaiting news to find a pager system which is adequate in our area. However we are confident that the launching authority will be in place and well practiced when the lifeboat is ready for service.


Dave Clarke


R. Whitting

D. Morgan

P. Worth


M. Taylor

P. Pedrick

D. Illingworth

C. Stidston Nott

The Launching Authorities and Senior Coxswains will be the initial contacts should a launch be required.  This request will normally come from the MCA, but the decision to self launch may also take place as long as the service falls within the set guidelines and the M.C.A. are kept fully informed.

The boat must not be launched unless any of the above agree.

As soon as the boat is launched it then becomes the responsibility of the Coxswain on board.


The Hope Cove Lifeboat will only be launched:-

  • To assist in the saving and preservation of human life; or prevention of injury to life.
  • To assist in the rescue of animals.
  • For the recovery of dead bodies from the sea or inaccessible shoreline.
  • To provide safety cover to the general public at sea and along the shoreline.
  • To train the crew in rescue procedures and boat handling and navigation.
  • To assist other agencies with their duties.

The LA or DLA or SC will be the initial contact with the MCA.   Upon the request to launch to a casualty they will be responsible for:-

  • The setting off of pagers to summon a crew.
  • The decision to launch.
  • Selection of Coxswain and crew.
  • Selection of launching crew
  • Boat launch.
  • Liaison with MCA and other agencies if required or if comms with boat are poor.
  • Boat recovery after service.
  • Collection and write up of details of service.
  • Boat re-housing and inspection to be ready for service.
  • Crew de-brief if required.

The LA, DLA, and SC will only launch the Hope Cove Lifeboat if:-

  • Normal area of operation is from Soar Mill Cove in the East to the River Erme in the West up to 2 miles offshore parallel to the coast.  This may be extended if requested by other agencies but only if weather conditions allow.
  • The decision to launch and the area of operation may be affected by a heavy ground swell.
  • If on scene weather falls within the category;-

Onshore winds i.e. SE veering to NW of force 6 or less in daylight.

Onshore winds i.e. SE to NW of force 5 or less in darkness.

Launching in offshore winds i.e. NW to SE above these strengths must be at the discretion of the LA, DLA or SC and MCA if sea conditions allow.

  • A suitably qualified Coxswain and crew are available.
  • A qualified launching crew is available.
  • The Hope Cove Lifeboat and its equipment are in a sea ready and proper condition.
  • It is deemed the incident or patrol or training is necessary.


Weather conditions must be taken as ‘on scene’ with advice from the MCA.  Weather conditions as follows:-


FORCE 5               –              19 KNT

Fresh Breeze

2.0 – 2.5 MTR Waves


FORCE 6               –              24 KNT

Strong Breeze

3 – 4 MTR Waves


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