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Penlee RNLI responds to 11 call outs in one week, including false distress call

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew have been called out to help 11 times in one week, with incidents involving kayakers, medical emergencies and a false distress call.

The Penlee volunteer crew have responded to 11 incidents in one week.


On Tuesday 20 June at 10.56pm the all-weather lifeboat Ivan Ellen was launched following several reports of a distress flare being seen in Mount’s Bay. The Penzance Coastguard Rescue Team was also tasked to help. The lifeboat crew conducted a search between Penlee Point and Long Rock, while the Penzance Cliff Rescue team searched the shore line. After carrying out searches for an hour, it became apparent that there were no vessels in distress so the lifeboat crew were stood down and returned to the station at 11.30pm. No sign of those involved or any remnants of the flare were found after an inland search was conducted by the Coastguard Rescue Team.

Earlier in the day, the volunteer crew received a launch request from Falmouth HM Coastguard at 6.05pm following reports of three people requiring assistance in the sea near Battery Rocks, Penzance. The inshore lifeboat Mollie & Ivor Dent was launched immediately and arrived on scene at 6.12pm. The lifeboat crew found out that a member of the group had suffered an asthma attack in the water, so two people had entered the sea to help and had managed to move them on to the steps at Battery Rocks. The lifeboat crew helped to bring the casualty completely ashore and administered oxygen, with Penzance Coastguard Cliff Rescue team and paramedics also arriving on scene to provide support. The casualty was taken to an awaiting ambulance for further treatment and the lifeboat crew were released to go on to a training exercise in Mount’s Bay.

At 7.00pm another call was received, as Falmouth HM Coastguard had been given information that a young person on a body board was experiencing difficulties near St Michael’s Mount. The inshore lifeboat proceeded to the location immediately, but thankfully the young person had reached safety before the lifeboat crew arrived. This had been a busy evening for the volunteer crew, who were Helm Ben Keogh, Elliot Andrews, Jack Shannon and Craig Neal.

The lifeboat station had also responded to two call outs the day before, Monday 19 June. The first was at 10.20am, after a member of the public had reported seeing a kayaker in difficulties near Larrigan Rocks. The inshore lifeboat launched from Newlyn, quickly locating the kayaker to find that there were no problems and all was well. The volunteer crew, Helm Ben Keogh, Ballast Patch Harvey and Andrew Wood, reported this to Falmouth HM Coastguard.

Later that day at 3.59pm, another crew launched from Newlyn to assist a small motor cruiser with two people on board that had broken down near Lamorna. Another local vessel, the Cormorant, was nearby and held onto the cruiser until the lifeboat crew arrived on scene. The vessel was then towed safely to Penzance Harbour, with the inshore lifeboat returning to the station at 5.00pm to be made ready for her next service. The crew for this call out were Helm Will Treneer, James Roberts and Andrew Wood.

RNLI safety advice

If you see someone else in trouble in the water, call for help. Call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard. If you have something that floats or they can hold on to, throw it to them. Do not enter the water yourself. Too many people drown trying to save others. For more advice on staying safe in and near the water, visit .

RNLI media contacts

For more information contact Penlee RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer Elaine Trethowan, at or Penlee RNLI Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer Michael Sagar-Fenton on 01736 361269.

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, 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.

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland