Firstly Cath and I are glad that you are now safe and sound - its frightening just looking at the pictures and reading your account.
Secondly - I will increase my RNLI membership - they are all fantastic guys. Also remember the other Lifeboats require our assistance too. e.g. Portishead has its own lifeboat that covers the Severn www.portishead-lifeboat.org.uk
Just as valuable (and they have a RibCraft!)
Thirdly - Will you be fitting a DSC radio? It sounds like there was some confusion about your position, although I'm sure you knew exactly where you were this got "confused" in the relay. I have heard PAN PAN calls in the Solent where the CG has difficulty pinpointing the casulty - and hence the rescue takes longer.
You may also find that the DSC call could have reached the CG directly as they go further.
It was for these reasons I fitted a DSC to my RibCraft - I also figgered that the Distress button could be easily activated by any passenger (take the example of the Yacht where the skipper was knocked off and the crew couldn't operate the radio)
(For our newcomers... DSC radios are required in commercial and fishing vessels and are optional in recreational boats. Hitting the "Distress" button will send a Digital PAN PAN or Mayday message to all other boats and CG in the radios area. This message contains the Position recieved from the ships GPS. - You then send a voice Mayday on Ch16 - The DSC bit is a bit like sending a text message on a mobile)