Published: May 22, 2010
In photos: Yachtsman Tony Bullimore visits Burnham-On-Sea charity

Well-known yachtsman Tony Bullimore was the special guest at a Burnham-On-Sea charity's AGM on Friday night (May 21st).

Mr Bullimore, who famously survived for five days in an upturned boat during the 1996/97 round the world yacht race, visited the annual meeting of BARB, the charity that operates Burnham's rescue hovercrafts.

He was given a tour of the hovercraft station on Burnham's seafront and joined a training exercise in which he took a flight in BARB's Spirit Of Lelaina, as pictured above.

Tony told "It was my first flight in a hovercraft of this size and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment - it was a very smooth flight."

He also visited Burnham's Coastguard and RNLI stations and said: "I'm very impressed with what I've seen this evening and I'm sure that if I ever needed rescuing this would be the perfect place for it!"

Mr Bullimore, 71, also recounted how he had survived five days in an air pocket under his capsized boat in the Southern Ocean with limited food and fresh water. He also discussed his plans for three further record attempts over the next few years.

He handed out certificates to BARB crewmembers and supporters during the AGM, which was held at Burnham's Town Council Chambers.

President Neville Jones thanked Mr Bullimore for his support and praised the team spirit of the charity's volunteers.

During the event, Chairman Mark Newman also thanked BARB's supporters for raising over £57,000 towards the cost of a new replacement hovercraft for the charity.

Operations Manager Steve Perks was presented with a telescope award for his service to BARB and a long service certificate was given to Stephen Pegler for his 16 years of work as BARB's accountant.

Mr Bullimore signed BARB's visitors book and, humorously, the signature was made upside down!

Mr Bullimore handed out awards and certificates at Friday's AGM of BARB. Pictured are (front left to right) Debbie Jackson of Retreat Caravan Park, Maria Hobden, Tony Bullimore, Neville Jones, Stephen Pegler, Rotary Club President Jim Tancock (back row) Angela Fey, Dave Cottle, Rob Wing, Steve Perks, Eddie Fey, Mike Lowe and Chris Perks

Mr Bullimore also visited Burnham Coastguards during his visit and is pictured here with Robin Hewlet and Roy Criddle

The yachtsman met BARB and RNLI crewmembers. He's pictured here with Graham Hallsworth, Steve Perks, Ricky Holmes, Scott Rundle, and BARB's Mark Newman


Official BARB Web site


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