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Falmouth RNLI volunteers at sea in force 9 conditions to grounded cargo ship

Lifeboats News Release

Falmouth RNLI volunteers have been afloat since 6.15am in horrendous conditions assisting a 16,000 tonne Russian cargo ship which ran aground off Gllyngvase beach earlier this morning (Tuesday 18 December).

Volunteer crews were woken abruptly to the sound of their pagers shortly after 6am, with a request from Falmouth Coastguard to launch the all-weather lifeboat Richard Cox Scott.

With coxswain John Blakeston at the command, the lifeboat proceeded to the scene off Gllynvase beach, arriving shortly after 6.20am. The lifeboat has been standing by the vessel since to ensure everyone’s safety.

The weather conditions are particularly challenging with force 7-8 winds, gusting force 9, a three metre swell and torrential rain. The conditions are expected to ease throughout the day.

The lifeboat continues to stand by and the volunteer crew are liaising with the Coastguard to assist where they can throughout the recovery of the vessel.

The volunteers have missed a day at work and have re-arranged their plans for the day to help the situation, illustrating their dedication and commitment to saving lives at sea.

The vessel was refloated at 2pm and the all-weather lifeboat returned to station shortly after 2.30pm.

The crew onboard the lifeboat were: John Blakeston, coxswain; Dave Nicoll, Luke Wills, Andy Jenkin, Tom Bird, Jonathan Hackwell and Carl Beardmore.

Notes to editors

A few photos are attached of the situation this morning off Gllyngvase. Credit RNLI/Falmouth

Interviews may be available later on request – please email Emma at the address below

RNLI media contacts

For more information contact Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on 07786 668847 or Justine Read, volunteer RNLI lifeboat press officer at Falmouth, on 07857 522378, or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

Falmouth RNLI lifeboat on scene at grounded cargo ship


Falmouth RNLI lifeboat on scene at grounded cargo ship
Falmouth RNLI stands off the grounded cargo ship

RNLI/Simon Culliford

Falmouth RNLI stands off the grounded cargo ship

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