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Looe RNLI lifeboat crew investigate unoccupied fishing boat drifting off Seaton

Lifeboats News Release

Within five minutes, Looe RNLI’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was launched at lunchtime today, Sunday 23 April 2017, to investigate reports of an unoccupied fishing boat drifting off Seaton beach

Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II returning to Looe

RNLI/Ian Foster

Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II returning to Looe

Identified as a dive boat the crew waited for the diver to surface. Confirming the diver was safe the lifeboat stood down and returned to Looe Lifeboat Station.

Looe RNLI’s inshore lifeboats had just been washed down and refuelled after Sunday morning’s planned exercise in Looe bay with HM Coastguard helicopter Rescue 924. Less than 90 minutes later, at 12.34 pm, pagers alerted the volunteer crew to reports of an unoccupied fishing boat drifting off Seaton beach. Launching at 12.38pm the charity’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Sheila and Dennis Tongue II left Looe and headed across Looe Bay towards Seaton. From a distance the boat appeared to be a small fishing boat, but as the Atlantic 85 drew closer the helm, Brian Bowdler, identified flags indicating a diver was in the water. Slowing the Atlantic 85 right down the helm made a cautious approach to the boat just as the diver surfaced. Confirming the diver was not in difficulty the lifeboat was stood down and returned to Looe Lifeboat Station by 1 pm.

Displaying correct flags when diving alerts other boat users to a diver in the water, the Atlantic 85 crew were pleased to find that the occupant of the boat was following appropriate procedures when diving, allowing them to approach the boat and diver safely.

This has been a busy week for Looe RNLI volunteers who have launched lifeboats on four separate occasions this week, and conducted an exercise with the coastguard helicopter. RNLI lifeboat crews will always respond to incidents reported to coastguards by members of the public and Looe lifeboat station encourage anyone out on the coast who spots something out of the ordinary to contact the Coastguard on 999.

Atlantic 85 crew: Brian Bowdler (helm), David Jackman, Aaron Rix and Robert Deakin

Shore crew: Graham Rich, John Pope, Paul Barley and Nick Pope


Notes to editors

· Picture -

Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II returning to Looe
credit RNLI / Ian Foster

· For further information on Looe RNLI Lifeboats please visit our website

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For more information please telephone Ian Foster, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Looe Lifeboat Station, on 07902 753228 or or


Amy Caldwell, RNLI Public Relations Manager, on 07920 818807 or


Emma Haines, RNLI Press Officer, on 07786 668847 or

Alternatively you can contact the RNLI Duty Press Officer on 01202 336789

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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.

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