St Mary's RNLI launch to assist French yacht

Lifeboats News Release

Following a call for assistance the St Mary's RNLI lifeboat The Whiteheads, launched at 1.47pm on Sunday afternoon, the 10th of April.

The lifeboat was under the command of Peter Hicks on his first shout as coxswain, following Stuart Hitchens' retirement.

The call came from a single-handed French yacht Cap des Palmes who reported some structural damage and difficulty in down-hauling his foresail. The yacht was between the Old Wreck Buoy and Bishop Rock Lighthouse. Once on location, the volunteer crew made fast a line and began the slow, difficult six mile tow back to St Mary's in a gale force wind and heavy seas.

The skipper of the stricken vessel had sailed from St Malo in order to get some long distance qualifying miles in challenging conditions before he enters a Transatlantic race in May.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Steve Watt, St Mary's Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07867796022 or or Emma Haines, RNLI Public Relations Manager, on 07786 668847 or

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.