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Plymouth RNLI volunteer crew help in multi-agency search for missing woman

Lifeboats News Release

Plymouth's all-weather lifeboat and inshore Atlantic 75 were tasked at 5.35pm on Tuesday 12 December to reports of a missing person possibly in the water.

Devon and Cornwall Police requested the assistance of both of Plymouth's lifeboats and volunteer crew to search the shoreline, Plymouth Sound and the River Tamar for a missing woman. This incident turned into a multi-agency search with the Coastguard rescue helicopter, Rescue 924, and Coastguard rescue teams from Plymouth and Tamar joining the search. The coxswain of Plymouth's all-weather lifeboat was the on-scene commander.

At 7.30pm a woman was spotted near the water on Plymouth Hoe by the volunteer crew on the lifeboat. Two crew were put ashore to check that the woman was safe and well and that she was the reported missing person.

While waiting for confirmation from Devon and Cornwall Police another incident occurred in the Harbour near the Waterfront restaurant, where a woman in distress was spotted in the water. The inshore lifeboat went to the location to assist. The woman was out of the water and the volunteer crew stood by until the police arrived.

Coxswain David Milford said: 'The complexity of a multi-agency search requires great skill and communications. The extent of the search in the dark with little knowledge of the whereabouts of the missing person means that the search area is more widespread, including local pontoons and easy access points to the water. This was a fine example of multi-agency working with an excellent outcome.'

Once both incidents were dealt with, all teams were stood down with thanks from Falmouth Coastguard and the lifeboats returned to the station, ready for service.

Notes to editors

  • Plymouth RNLI lifeboat has been operating since 1862. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to

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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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