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St Mary's RNLI lifeboat crew go to the aid of four people in rough seas

Lifeboats News Release

The St Mary's RNLI lifeboat under the command of Peter Hicks was called out at 11.45am on Sunday 7 August to go to the aid of four people who'd been thrown out of a small vessel in rough seas close to the north coast of Tresco on the Isles of Scilly.

A local boatman and ex-coxswain of the St Mary's lifeboat, Andy Howells, saw the incident unfold and due to his skill and experience managed to pull one of the casualties out of the water.

His vessel, the Osprey, was on a seabird special and was concerned when he noticed that the small open boat was close to the rocks in breaking seas. The boat was picked up on a wave and pitch-polled, throwing out the occupants. Three of the casualties were washed onto rocks suffering injuries and were cared for by the Tresco Coastguard team.

The volunteer crew of the St Mary's lifeboat then stood by until the rescue helicopter arrived to take the casualties to Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

St. Mary’s RNLI lifeboat coxswain, Peter Hicks, said: "In the 23 years I've been a member of the lifeboat crew, I've witnessed the four luckiest people saved from the sea."

The RNLI advises all recreational sailors to check the sea conditions and weather before setting out. Always wear a lifejacket and let someone know where you are going and when you'll be back.

For more information about how to stay safe at the coast visit

Note to editors

Photos show the location the casualties washed up at on Tresco and the Coastguard helicopter arriving to transport them to hospital. Credit St Mary's RNLI.

Media Contacts

For more information contact St Mary's RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer, Steve Watt, on 07867796022 or or contact RNLI Press Officer, Chloe Smith, on 07920 818807 or


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 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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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