Looe RNLI lifeboat crews face challenging conditions in a multi agency rescue

Lifeboats News Release

Both of Looe RNLI Lifeboats launched at 12.29 pm on Saturday 4 March 2017, to assist a lone female who was cut off by the tide and sheltering in a cave to the west of Portwrinkle.

Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II leaving Looe

RNLI/Ian Foster

Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II leaving Looe

With the lifeboats unable to get close enough to the cave, one of the volunteer lifeboat crew made his way ashore and the lifeboats stood by offshore to direct the Tamar Coastguard team to the location. Tamar Coastguard escorted the female and Looe RNLI crew member safely back to the top of the cliff. The female was taken back to her vehicle and Tamar Coastguard returned the crew member back to Looe Lifeboat Station.

HM Coastguard at Falmouth requested Looe RNLI volunteers to launch both RNLI inshore lifeboats at 12.20pm following a call from a lone female who was cut off by the tide and sheltering in a cave to the west of Portwrinkle. The charity’s Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II was first to arrive on the scene and quickly located the casualty. With the surf conditions and strong currents the D Class lifeboat Ollie Naismith was unable to get close enough to the cave so the 4th crewman from the Atlantic 85, Guy Cooper, swam ashore to assess the casualty, who apart from being cold and wet was uninjured.

As the cave was not visible from the cliff top, both lifeboats stood by offshore to direct the Tamar Coastguard team to the location. The team descended the steep cliff utilising a makeshift but difficult ‘fisherman’s’ path. Due to the challenging sea conditions, a decision was made for Tamar Coastguard to escort the female and RNLI volunteer crew back up the cliff route to the road. The coastguard took the female back to her vehicle and after offering safety advice they then took the RNLI crew back to Looe Lifeboat Station.

Commenting after the rescue Guy Cooper said ‘This was a well executed rescue in very difficult conditions’. Guy, who is also trained in flood rescue techniques, advises everyone who explore our beaches to be prepared. ‘Take warm clothes, a means of communication, always check the tide times and tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.’

The lifeboats returned to station where they were washed down and refuelled, ready for service at 2.20 pm.

Atlantic 85 crew: David Jackman (helm), Matthew Jaycock, Guy Cooper and Rob Deakin

D Class crew: Toby Bray (helm), John Crabb and Aaron Rix

Notes to editors

Picture - Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II leaving Looe - credit RNLI / Ian Foster

Picture - Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith leaving Looe - credit RNLI / Ian Foster

For further information on Looe RNLI Lifeboats please visit our website www.looelifeboats.co.uk

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Ian Foster, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Looe Lifeboat Station, on 07902 753228 or looelpo@ianfoster.com or ian_foster@rnli.org.uk or

Amy Caldwell, RNLI Public Relations Manager, on 07920 818807 or amy_caldwell@rnli.org.uk or

Emma Haines, RNLI Press Officer, on 07786 668847 or emma_haines@rnli.org.uk

Alternatively you can contact the RNLI Duty Press Officer on 01202 336789.

Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith leaving Looe

RNLI/Ian Foster

Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith leaving Looe

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 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 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.

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