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Looe RNLI's 'superheroes' to the rescue

Lifeboats News Release

It was a scene reminiscent of the Batman and Robin sketch from the BBC’s ‘Only Fools and Horses’ TV show in the early hours of New Year's Day as several Looe RNLI crewmembers were seen dashing through the streets in fancy dress responding to a shout.

Looe RNLI crew 'superheroes' in their fancy dress, which they were wearing when they responded to a shout on New Year's Day

Ian Foster

Looe RNLI crew 'superheroes'

Still in their New Year’s Eve fancy dress including Superman, Spiderman, Donald Trump Banana Man and two Black Swans - they were seen by amazed onlookers as they raced through Looe's busy and narrow streets to the boathouse responding to the pager.

The call came at 12.50am on New Year's Day, as many of the crew were heading home after the town's New Year celebrations. The crew quickly changed out of their fancy dress and into their lifeboat kit and launched the Atlantic 85 class lifeboat Sheila & Dennis Tongue II to carry out a search, after four flares were fired between Hannafore and Looe Island.

Following an extensive search nothing was found and the lifeboat stood down at 1.45am. On further investigation by the Coastguards it was found that the flares were fired from the shore at Hannafore.

David Haines, Lifeboat Operations Manager for Looe RNLI, says: ‘We take this sort of incident very seriously. We are always mindful that false alarms of this type may have more serious consequences as valuable resources were committed and if a more serious shout had come in the ability to respond would have been less than desired. Rescuers’ lives are put at risk every time lifeboat crews are called out, in hazardous winter conditions, to what they assume to be a genuine cry for help’.

The RNLI said it is an offence to fire distress flares other than if you are in distress and heavy fines may be imposed, especially when resulting from a hoax call.

RNLI notes to editors

Attached is a selection of photos of some of the crew in their fancy dress. Credit Ian Foster for the images.

For further information on Looe Lifeboats please visit our website at

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Emma Haines, RNLI Press Officer, on or 07786 668847 For urgent calls out of hours please contact the Duty RNLI Press Officer on 01202 336789.

Looe RNLI's 'superheroes' pictured in front of the D class lifeboat

Ian Foster

Looe RNLI's 'superheroes' pictured in front of the D class lifeboat

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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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