Fowey Regatta call out for volunteer RNLI crew as seven saved from sinking boat

Lifeboats News Release

On 17 August from 6pm the brilliance of the Red Arrows stunned the town of Fowey with a flotilla of small boats watching from outside the harbour. On their return to the station the Fowey RNLI volunteer crew responded to distress call from a sinking boat.


The volunteer crew secure the sinking vessel to the all-weather lifeboat.

The all-weather lifeboat Maurice and Joyce Hardy was at sea for the duration of the Red Arrows display due to the potential difficulty of exiting the harbour if there was a shout with so many small vessels in the harbour entrance. As they were returning to the harbour after the display they heard a broadcast to the Coastguard from a vessel that had broken down and was sinking.

Within a very short time the casualty vessel was spotted from the bridge of the lifeboat so the crew proceeded quickly to its position.

On arrival it was clear that the vessel was about to sink so the seven people on board were immediately taken aboard the lifeboat to safety.

Half of vessel was now below the surface of the water and the crew of the lifeboat managed to get three ropes secured to it to stop it completely sinking. The casualty vessel was then towed very slowly into Fowey harbour where the seven casualties were helped ashore.

With assistance from the Fowey Harbour Commissioner's vessels, the boat was supported on the surface of the water and slowly moved to Penmarlam Quay where it was run ashore and pulled clear of the water.

The lifeboat was then refuelled and returned to station, ready for service by 8.30pm.

The RNLI has lots of information on its website on how to stay safe at sea, as even close to the shore the sea is still a dangerous place to be if not treated with respect. You should:

  • Always wear a lifejacket
  • Always have a means of calling for help
  • Have an action plan in place in case of emergency
  • Check the weather
  • Be aware of the conditions

Notes to editors

The enclosed photos show the sinking vessel being secured to the all-weather lifeboat. Please credit RNLI/Fowey.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Cath Beard, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Fowey RNLI on 07969 693218. For urgent calls out of hours please contact the Duty RNLI Press Officer on 01202 336789.


The stricken vessel being secured to the all-weather lifeboat.

Key facts about the RNLI

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.