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St Ives lifeboat launched to investigate personal locator beacon

Lifeboats News Release

The St Ives lifeboat was launched on Tuesday 26 April following reports of a personal locator beacon being activated in the area.

A personal locator beacon (PLB) is a small emergency tracking device used by people at sea to alert the Coastguard that they are in trouble.

The unit in question appeared to be located on land in the Camborne area, but the margin of error associated with it meant that it could have been activated at sea, and so the lifeboat was called to search the area just in case.

The St Ives RNLI Shannon class lifeboat Nora Stachura was launched at 1:45pm with second coxswain Scott Perkin at the helm and St Ives station mechanic Robin Langford.

Initially the crew searched the Godrevy beach area as a number of kite surfers were enjoying the northerly fresh breeze. After it was clear that it was not from that area, they continued to search the coastline up to Porthreath along with the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter from Newquay.

Eventually it was clear that the beacon was not transmitting from sea and so the lifeboat was stood down shortly before 4pm to return to St Ives.

St Ives RNLI Second Coxswain, Scott Perkin, said on his return: 'There is no doubt that PLBs can be a real life saver and so we thoroughly recommend that anyone on the sea has one, in fact all our lifeboat crew at sea carry one. However we do recommend that they are registered to get the full benefit from them and to ensure that false alarms can be averted.'

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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 Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 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.

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