Mark Strudwick is the new Lifeboat Operations Manager in Dartmouth.

On the day of his appointment, a life jacket clinic was held at the lifeboat station. John Fulton, RNLI Dart Lifeboat Press officer, said: “The clinic was very successful.

“It is so important that boat users are not only familiar with the use of their life jackets. “Regular testing and maintenance is required so that their life jacket operates properly.”

During the same day the lifeboat was called out 3 times. RNLI volunteers were already on the water on a proactive patrol when they were tasked to provide cover for the shore based Dartmouth Coastguard team.

They were having a problem with two youths on the South Embankment. This was resolved when the police arrived.

No sooner was the boat refuelled when Richard Eggleton and his crew were called to launch to a coxed four that had been taking part in the Head of the River race. They were high and dry on the Flat Owers mud bank at Dittisham.

Using twin towing lines, the lifeboat and a race safety boat helmed by Phil Langman were able to pull the boat to the water’s edge. Here, the four oarswomen and the cox were transferred to the lifeboat and then to the safety boat.

The safety boat took them to the Dartmouth Amateur Rowing Clubhouse to warm up and the lifeboat towed the boat home.

During that shout, calls were received that a humpback whale was ensnared again. The crew had helped to release a humpback from a line of whelk pots ten days earlier.

The Salcombe Tamar, an all-weather lifeboat, joined the Dart inshore lifeboat. Two members of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue team, Ali Jones and David McDonald, attended.

They were taken from Blackpool Sands by the Dart lifeboat out to where the whale was trapped.

The weight of pots was greater than on the first occasion and the line was slowly lifted using the winch on the bow of the Tamar. As the pots surfaced they were cut free from the anchored line by David McDonald and Chris Tracey, RNLI crewman.

After a mass of tangled lines and pots had been cut free only a single line, looped round her tail, needed to be cut and this released the whale.