This weekend saw the annual Open day for Exmouth RNLI and this year they had some additional help in the shape of “Rodney Bey” the town’s new 32 foot Cornish Pilot Gig.

Exmouth Gig club is a stand alone club that was only established in March this Year. They already have a solid membership base and are growing steadily. They approached Exmouth RNLI and offered to help out in this years event.

Drawing comparisons between their 32 foot Gig and traditional lifeboats that were rowed with oars, the Gig club took part in a “Casualty in the water” demonstration during which the 6 oars persons and their coxswain rowed out from the beach to recover a dummy that had been pre placed in the estuary.

Once the “casualty” was safely brought to sure the demonstration was then repeated with Exmouth’s Inshore Lifeboat, the “George Bearman”, highlighting the speed and agility of the modern Lifeboat.

The whole demonstration was commentated on by Mark (Max) Champion, who is a volunteer crewmember for Exmouth RNLI and is also a member of Exmouth Gig club.

Ben Atkinson, Chairman of the Exmouth Gig Club, and Coxswain of “Rodney Bey” for the demonstration commented, “Pilot Gigs are closely related to the old lifeboats used before motor power. It was a privilege to be part of the rescue demo alongside the top of the range craft of todays era

Following the demonstration the fun and fundraising continued on the “Rowing Challenge” where people could enter to try and win a voucher for the fastest time, or, compete head to head with a friend or colleague.

Two such head to head challenges that drew particular interest were between Exmouth Lifeboats’ Coxswain, Steve Hockings-Thompson and his Wife, Louise, and also between the two arms of the RNLI that we see each summer here in Exmouth, The Lifeboat and the Lifeguards, whilst wearing their respective life saving kit!

The whole weekend was a great success with Exmouth Gig Club raising over £255. This will be split equally between the Gig club and Exmouth RNLI and a presentation will take place shortly.

For more information about Exmouth Gig club visit their website at or find them on Facebook or Twitter.