St Ives RNLI lifeboat crew launched overnight to assist a yacht in bad weather

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew of the St Ives RNLI lifeboat spent last night at sea in terrible conditions to assist the crew of a 56ft German sail training yacht Excalibur with approximately eight people on board.

The skipper had been incapacitated after dislocating his shoulder whilst sailing in rough seas 10-15 miles north west of St Ives.

The St Ives Shannon class lifeboat Nora Stachura was launched at 1:30am with coxswain Robert Cocking at the helm, and the volunteer crew made their way to the casualty vessel. When they reached the vessel, the coxswain was surprised how bad conditions were, with very strong gusty winds, rough seas with white water, and pitch dark.

The coxswain manoeuvered the lifeboat alongside the yacht twice in extremely difficult conditions to get two crew, Barney Stevens and Jack Coop, aboard the Excalibur, to give medical assistance to the skipper and assist on-board.

The decision was taken to escort the yacht back to St Ives so that the skipper could be taken to hospital. With the skipper incapacitated and in a great deal of pain the lifeboat crew had to assist with handling the yacht, as they made their way back to St Ives escorted by the lifeboat.

Arriving back in St Ives at around 4:15am, the lifeboat crew then had to assist with what proved to be a tricky operation to put the yacht on a mooring in the bay. With strong winds hampering the operation, even the St Ives inshore lifeboat crew had difficulty in picking up the mooring, to secure the yacht.

At around 5am, the skipper, who was still in extreme pain, was taken off the yacht on to the inshore lifeboat and taken to shore to a waiting ambulance crew. After assessing and assisting him in the ambulance, the skipper was then taken to Royal Cornwall Hospital.

With the crew of the Excalibur safely on a mooring, the St Ives lifeboat crew refuelled the lifeboat and were finally stood down and could go home to bed after what proved to be a long, tiring and extremely challenging night at sea.

Derek Hall, Lifeboat Operations Manager at St Ives RNLI, said: 'The crew did a fantastic job in what were very tough conditions overnight. The sea was rough and there was strong gusty winds which made for an extremely challenging rescue. Our volunteer crew showed a great level of skill in bringing everyone safely back to the shore.'


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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, in a normal year, 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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