Newquay RNLI lifeboat volunteer rescues swimmer

Lifeboats News Release

One of Newquay's RNLI lifeboat volunteers has rescued a woman from the sea near Newquay Harbour after responding to his RNLI pager on his fishing boat early on Sunday morning (31 July).


Having left the lifeboat station at midnight after their previous call, Newquay's RNLI lifeboat volunteers were alerted again at 6.39am on Sunday after anglers at Newquay Harbour rang 999 to report a swimmer in difficulties near the Fly Cellars.

One of the RNLI volunteers, Anthony Hills, 28, skipper of the fishing boat Peganina, was already on his boat near the harbour, in preparation for the day's fishing trips and was alerted to the incident by his RNLI pager.

Ant responded in his ten-metre fishing boat and after being directed to the swimmer by a fisherman on the quay, rescued the unresponsive woman from the sea. She was being kept afloat by another swimmer, who was clinging to mooring lines from a fishing boat around 400-metres off Towan Beach.

Ant rushed the pair to Newquay Harbour, where the young woman was treated with oxygen and given further casualty care by other RNLI volunteers, including paramedic Christian Brown, who had been just about to respond to the call in the charity's D class inshore lifeboat when Ant arrived with the swimmer. The 24-year-old local woman was warmed with blankets and carried ashore on a stretcher before receiving further treatment at the lifeboat station after swallowing a lot of sea water. She was then taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro by ambulance.

Christian said: 'Ant did an excellent job and probably saved the young lady's life. The RNLI urges people to respect the water and swim at a lifeguarded beach'. The rescued woman contacted Newquay lifeboat station later and said; 'I don't know how to thank you all for saving my life. I have definitely realised just how lucky I was and I am so grateful to the RNLI for the team's work'.
The previous evening (Saturday), Newquay's RNLI lifeboat volunteers had launched both inshore lifeboats at 10.30pm after a member of the public called 999 to report a flashing light at Stem Cove and two people possibly requiring help. The two RNLI crews fired illuminating flares and searched the coast between the northern end of Watergate Bay and Mawgan Porth along with Newquay Coastguard rescue team, but none of the anglers in the area required assistance and the lifeboats returned to Newquay Harbour at 11.35pm after the call had been deemed a false alarm with good intent.
RNLI contact
For further information, please contact Andy Hobkinson, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at Newquay RNLI on 07880 507464 or email 
Notes to editors
Attached photos: 
Fishing boat Peganina (right) which rescued swimmer on Sunday. Credit: Anthony Hills.
Newquay RNLI lifeboat volunteers return from call on Saturday night. Credit: RNLI/Newquay.  

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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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