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St.Agnes RNLI Lifeboat launched to cyclist cut off by the tide

Lifeboats News Release

A cyclist found himself stranded after the tide came in behind him, cutting him off from returning to the beach he had come from at Porthtowan.

The St Agnes RNLI Lifeboat boat was launched at 4.10pm on Monday 16 April on request of the HM Coastguard. The initial information was to assist a surfer in trouble on the Northern side of Porthtowan. It soon became apparent that this was an adult male who was cut off in dead man’s cove, just beyond the seawater swimming pool.

The casualty had mistimed the incoming tide and was reluctant to leave his bicycle that he had with him, so whilst looking for a place to put his bike above the high water mark became very cut–off from the main beach.

The HM Coastguard Helicopter also attended, and the casualty was airlifted to safety. The sea conditions were big, with a swell of approximately 2-3 metres with a strong south wind 6/7, and there was no beach for the lifeboat to safely land up on.

Tide times and heights vary throughout the month and can easily catch you out if you haven’t checked them. The RNLI advises people visiting the coast to check the tide tables before heading to the beach and to be aware of your surroundings and the tide's direction when you are out. It's important you carry a means of communication so that you can call for help should you find yourself in difficulty and if you see someone else in trouble near or in the water the charity advises you call for 999 and ask for the coastguard.

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Gavin Forehead (helm), Paul Fisher (crew), along with Trev Garland were on the lifeboat. This was Trev's very first attendance as crew.

The lifeboat returned to station at 5pm.

RNLI/Paul Kimberley

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.

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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