Torbay RNLI trial new public launch alerting system

MS Matt Tyler with the sound system January 2012

There’s been a positive response to a new public launch alerting system being trialled at the RNLI lifeboat station in Brixham. The signal, a six second siren, will be sounded when the charity’s volunteer crews launch their lifeboat to an incident. The idea is that residents and visitors to the town and harbour users will know when the lifeboat is putting to sea.

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The siren will only sound between 7am in the morning and 10pm at night and will alert the volunteer crew, public and nearby boating traffic to the imminent launch of the lifeboat. As Stuart Elliman, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at Torbay explains, it’s already received some very positive comments;


‘We’ve liaised with all the relevant authorities, including the local council and their environmental officers, and the harbour office and all have been to see and hear our new siren and are very impressed by it. The idea is that the whole town will know when we are launching to an emergency. This helps ensure people, including casualties if they are close by, know crew are on their way to the lifeboat station and it may also help trigger donations from visitors in particular, who know the volunteers are putting to sea to help save others.’


Amongst those welcoming the new siren is Councillor Vic Ellery, Chairman of the Torbay Harbour Authority;


‘I very much welcome the trial and expect the Brixham community to take ownership of this new technology as a suitable conclusion to the search in this town, for a replacement to the maroons.’


The signal is being tested for a minimum of six months and the RNLI would welcome any comments or feedback. Please contact Robert Aggas, RNLI Fleet Operations Manager, at (with an underscore between Robert and Aggas).


The new sound signal replaces the traditional maroons that were used by the RNLI until the charity raised health and safety concerns about the explosive based flares and then the manufacturer stopped producing them.

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