Lifeboat Rescuers Race From Colleague’s Wedding to Save Stranded Paddle Boarders

The happy couple had just been married when the lifeboat volunteers’ pagers activated. The crew rushed to the beach in just seven minutes to save a group of six stranded paddle boarders.

On Oct. 28, lifeboat volunteers in the UK rushed from a fellow crew member’s wedding to rescue six paddle boarders — and they got there in just seven minutes. The men were lined up along the aisle, creating an arch for the newlyweds: Ashley Witcombe, a shore crew volunteer, and his new bride, Cheryl.

Moments later, the crew’s pagers began beeping, so they raced to rescue a group of people that were stranded on a small beach at Ilfracombe in Devon.

“They’d literally just got married,” said wedding photographer Becky Payne. “We went outside and just after we took a couple of pictures they had to run. It was pretty exciting.”

Royal National Lifeboat Institution lifeboatman Leigh Hanks said, “We hope the pagers didn’t disrupt Ashley and Cheryl’s special day too much, although I’m sure it’s something they’re both used to. It’s not the first time the pagers have gone off at a crew wedding, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.”

Hanks said the conditions for the rescue were “challenging,” but the crew rescued three adults and three children successfully. The group was stranded on a paddle boarding trip in the southwest region of England.
Later that afternoon, the crew drove past the wedding venue again and waved to the newlywed couple.

Image source: Manchester Evening News