Red Arrows day keeps Falmouth RNLI volunteer crew busy with multiple call outs

Lifeboats News Release

The Falmouth volunteer lifeboat crews had a busy time on 9 August, with the lifeboat crews being called out four times in one day, as the Falmouth Fun Day and Red Arrows Display event took place.

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The first call out received at the station was a request for assistance in searching for a missing diver from the dive boat Celtic Cat.

The volunteer's pagers went off at 1.05pm and the inshore lifeboat Eve Pank launched eight minutes later, setting off across the bay to the Manacles where Celtic Cat was operating. Two minutes later the all-weather lifeboat Richard Cox Scott was also on its way to help.

On arrival at the scene approximately 15 minutes later, the all-weather lifeboat crew took over the coordination of the search for the missing diver. Many private boats and yachts, enjoying a day on the water and waiting for the arrival of the Red Arrows, were keen to help after the Mayday call put out by the Celtic Cat so needed to be coordinated.

Also assisting in the search were Porthscatho and Porthoustock Cliff Rescue teams and the coastguard helicopter, and the police had also been informed. Fortunately the missing diver was found safe and well as he had managed to make it to shore unaided. Both lifeboats were then released from the search.

They did not have long to wait before they were in action again. At 4pm the inshore lifeboat crew were tasked to aid a sailing boat near St Maws with three people onboard, which had overturned and dumped its crew into the water.

By 4.10pm the inshore lifeboat was on its way to the casualties, arriving on scene at 4.16pm. The casualties had managed to scramble ashore near St Maws Castle but the boat was upside down in the water with its rudder jammed.

The lifeboat crew succeeded in beaching the boat on shore underneath St Maws Castle. They then took the casualties onboard the lifeboat and transported them up river to be reunited with their families on a pontoon in St Maws.

The inshore lifeboat returned to the station where it was made ready for the next call out, which came at 6:45pm. This time it was to go to the aid of a power boat that had run aground on the rocks near the entrance to the Helford River. By 7pm the lifeboat crew had attached a tow rope to the casualty and were able to pull the vessel off the rocks. Immediately afterwards they towed her to a mooring in the Helford River, near Helford Sailing Club, where she was made secure.

At 7.35pm the inshore lifeboat was released and returned to her station where she berthed at 7.50pm and, after refuelling and a wash down, she was made ready for service again.

At the end of this very busy period for the lifeboat volunteers, John Blakeston, Senior Lifeboat Coxswain, said: ‘This has been a hectic day for all the crew members involved. They have all conducted themselves in an admirable way where, true to the lifeboat traditions, they have carried out excellent work in saving lives at sea.’

Notes to editors

  • On the first incident with the missing diver the crew of the all-weather lifeboat were: Luke Wills (Coxswain); John Blakeston; Jonathan Hackwell; Carl Beardmore; Dave Nicoll and Will Allen. The inshore lifeboat crew were by Sam Proctor (Helm); Tom Bird and Josh Beardmore.
  • The inshore lifeboat crew who went to the rescue of the casualties from the upturned sailing boat were: Luke Wills (Helm), Adam West and Jamie Wakefield.
  • The crew involved in this last call out of the day were: Neil Capper (Helm); Elliot Holman and Jamie Connoly.

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 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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