Three call outs in a short space of time for Falmouth RNLI lifeboat volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

Last weekend saw the Falmouth RNLI volunteer crew called out to three separate incidents in one 24 hour period. The crew had to rescue an injured yachtsman, tow a leaking yacht and assist a dinghy experiencing difficulties.

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Sunday 23 July saw the launch of the inshore lifeboat to a gentleman who had fallen down the companion way in his yacht anchored some 100 metres off Falmouth Marina. At 9.20pm the pagers alerted the crew that he was in difficulties because of the injuries he had sustained. By 9.28pm the inshore lifeboat was manned and on its way to the casualty.

On arrival at the scene some four minutes later the casualty was assessed and it was determined that he had sustained broken ribs on his left hand side and was in pain. He was given oxygen and because he could not be moved, the decision was made to tow the yacht to a pontoon where paramedics were on hand to administer morphine. The paramedics carried out a further assessment and concluded he also had a lung injury.

Using the ambulance’s equipment the casualty was evacuated to hospital for further treatment and his boat was left in the care of the harbour office. The inshore lifeboat was then cleared to return to station, arriving at 10:50pm where it was washed down and refuelled ready for service at 11:15pm.

At 6.26pm on Sunday 25 July the all-weather lifeboat crew were tasked to go to the aid of a 14m yacht, the Wayward, with four people onboard, reporting water ingress. At 6.31pm the lifeboat was fully manned and on its way, and by 6.47pm they had met up with the casualty, located 1.5miles to the south of Black Rock.

Two crew members were put on board together with a salvage pump. It transpired that the leak was so minimal and access to the bilge was limited such that there would have been difficulty in trying to get the salvage pump in a position where it could be operated. Therefore the coxswain took the decision to escort her into harbour, where the smaller inshore lifeboat salvage pump was used to pump out the bilge.

The vessel was a new build on passage and had no manual bilge pump; fortunately all persons onboard were wearing life jackets. At 7:35pm the lifeboat was cleared to return to station where it was washed down and refuelled ready for action again by 7.50pm.

The final shout of the three came later in the day at 9.10pm when, in answer to a call from a member of the public, the inshore lifeboat was tasked to go to the aid of a dinghy being paddled with some difficulty between Pill and Turnaware.

At 9.19pm the lifeboat crew were on their way to the casualty and arrived at 9:25pm to find that the dinghy was safely on Turnaware Bar and everyone onboard were safe.

RNLI safety message

The RNLI advises that you should always wear an appropriate lifejacket or buoyancy aid and always have a means for calling and signalling for help, ensuring that everyone onboard knows how to use it. To find out more about how to stay safe when sailing visit

Notes to editors

  • The crew who went to the rescue of the man with the broken ribs was: Clare Angove (Helmsman); Tom Bird; Neil Capper and Jamie Williams. The extra crew member was extremely useful in helping to lift and move the casualty.
  • The volunteers manning the all weather lifeboat for the second mission were; Luke Wills (Coxswain); Adam West; Tom Telford; Tom Bird; Neil Capper; Jamie Connolly and Will Allen.
  • On the third shout the crew members were: Tom Telford; Clare Angove and Tom Bird.

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, in a normal year, 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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