On October 27 1916, the Salcombe lifeboat, William and Emma, was launched, with fifteen men aboard, to go to the aid of Plymouth schooner, Western Lass that was aground at Lannacombe Bay. The weather was atrocious and the boat managed to cross the notorious Bar at the mouth of Salcombe Harbour. Unbeknownst to the lifeboat crew the Prawle Rocket Company had saved all of the crew and the lifeboat was not in fact needed. A massive wave hit the lifeboat and all the crew were thrown into the sea, only two men survived.
Today on the centenary, the community paid tribute to those brave men whose lives were lost and had an opportunity to thank all of the RNLI who still continue to save lives at sea.