Four people rescued after becoming stranded by an incoming tide near Porthtowan.

Lifeboats News Release

Four men had to be rescued from Lushington Cove, Porthtowan this evening (1 August) after finding themselves cut off by an incoming tide.

The four men, who were believed to be on holiday, had accessed the Cove, not knowing there was no safe way out if the tide came in. The Coastguard Service at MRCC Falmouth were alerted by the Porthtowan RNLI Lifeguards, who requested additional assistance by the launch of the St.Agnes RNLI Lifeboat, D-725 ‘Kenneth R Easter’, the stations current relief Lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeguards patrolling Porthtowan beach were alerted at around 6pm by a surfer, to a group of four people, who had scaled down the cliff to reach the cove adjacent to Porthtowan beach. With the tide now in beyond the access from Porthtowan, the group of four males aged between 17 and 28, were cut off with no way of escape.

RNLI lifeguards Deshko Matthews and Ishmael Hamon launched the Inshore Rescue Boat, while their colleague Emily Trestrail called the Coastguard.

On arrival, Deshko and Ishamal assessed the conditions, and decided that the large surf conditions meant it was too dangerous to transport all four without back up and they requested assistance from St Agnes RNLI lifeboat.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 6.20pm and the crew assembled, the lifeboat was launched, with Helm Gavin Forehead and Paul Fisher and Tom Forehead as crew. They were ably assisted by a large contingent of shore crew and other crewmembers, who had attended the call out.

St.Agnes RNLI Lifeboat Helm Gavin Forehead said 'Overall, an excellent shout, saving four lives and working in co-ordination with our lifeguard colleagues, who did a sterling job in assisting us and the casualties The lifeboat crewmembers did a great job, in heavy seas”.

The lifeboat arrived on scene and liaised with the RNLI lifeguards and the casualties, before taking them in pairs, out to sea through some large breaking surf and and across to the safety of Porthtowan Beach, where they were checked over by the lifeguard team. The lifeboat left the scene and returned to St.Agnes.

The casualties were uninjured, but shaken by their ordeal.

Drustan Ward, RNLI lifeguard supervisor says;

‘Lushington cove is just west of Porthtowan and on a low tide, it’s possible to walk round the corner and explore. However, at high tide it is completely inaccessible. This group had scaled down the cliff, which had already partly collapsed, to reach the beach, but once there, found there was no way back. The lifeguards were just finishing their patrols on Porthtowan for the day and had already checked the cove for cut offs before packing up. The group were very lucky the surfer spotted them and raised the alarm.

There is still a decent swell running making conditions tricky in the water. The joint rescue by the RNLI lifeguards and volunteer crew showed great skill and seamanship by both sets of lifesavers in negotiating the surf to rescue the group. Backed by excellent communication between the beaches and St Agnes boathouse.’

With a high evening spring tides for the next few days, the RNLI is urging people to check tide times before setting out for the day and to always check back on where they are heading to make sure they can get back.

The St Agnes RNLI lifeboat was re-housed and ready for service at 7.45pm

For more information on tides and staying safe on the coast visit

Notes to editors

  • Around 190 people die in UK and Irish waters each year. That’s more than those killed in cycling accidents. Around half of those who drown never intended to get wet
  • Respect the Water is the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign. It highlights the risks, and advises how to avoid danger and increase the chances of surviving an emergency situation
  • Know what to do – visit
  • This year, we’re asking the public to help save more lives by sharing some simple survival skills:
  • If you find yourself in the water unexpectedly, fight your instincts and float until the effects of cold water shock pass
  • If you see someone else in trouble at the coast, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard
Looking down onto Lushington Cove. St.Agnes RNLI Lifeboat (Left) and Porthtowan Lifeguard Rescue Boat (Right).

RNLI/Drustan Ward

RNLI/Drustan Ward

RNLI/Paul Kimberley

RNLI/Paul Kimberley

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.