• Skip to content
  • Cookies
  • College
  • Shop
  • Safety
  • Education
  • News Centre
  • Recruitment
  • Contact us
Content anchor

Print this page PDF this page

Padstow RNLI lifeboat rescues crew from French trawler in heavy seas

About the author

Image of Henry Weaver

Henry Weaver
Press Officer at Scotland.

Start quoteThe conditions were challenging and it was a difficult rescue for all involved, we are pleased to have been able to assist.End quote

Download video

Lifeboats News Release

  • Date:
  • Author: Henry Weaver

Padstow lifeboat and her volunteer crew launched yesterday (1 February 2014) just after 4pm to assist a French trawler that was in difficulty amongst waves described as 30ft plus and wind gusting to 60mph.

The crew of the trawler had to leave the vessel and take to the water in their survival suits because the sea state was too bad for the rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose to lift them from the deck of their vessel.

Five of the crew were picked up from the water by the Royal Navy rescue helicopter and the skipper was picked up by the RNLI lifeboat from Padstow. All six crew were brought ashore.

Padstow lifeboat 2nd Coxswain Richard Pitman said, ‘A great deal of credit must go the winch-man on the helicopter, the heavy sea conditions made his job very difficult as he was dragged in and out of the water with the rise and fall of the sea.

‘The conditions were challenging and it was a difficult rescue for all involved, we are pleased to have been able to assist.’

The fishing vessel had been struck by several large waves, causing them to lose power and steering. They were drifting approximately five miles off Trevose Head when Padstow lifeboat and the Royal Navy rescue helicopter were called to their aid.


1. Padstow lifeboat launching to the incident (credit: Mel Price)
2. Padstow lifeboat in the challenging sea conditions (credit :Mel Price)

RNLI media contacts:

Mel Price, volunteer press officer, 07860 835435, melprice@gmail.com

Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07771 943026, henry_weaver@rnli.org.uk

Tamsin Thomas, RNLI Public Relations Manager for southwest England, 01752 850663, 07786 668847, tamsin_thomas@rnli.org.uk

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

Photos and video

Back to News Centre

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland from 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland