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


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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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