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Falmouth RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews assist stranded schooner

Lifeboats News Release

Both Falmouth lifeboats were launched on Friday evening (13 July) following a report that a 28 metre gaff rigged wooden vessel had gone aground at Turnaware Point following a mechanical failure.

The schooner aground at Turnaware Point after suffering a mechanical failure

Falmouth RNLI

The schooner aground at Turnaware Point

The Schooner, with 15 people on board, was on a charter trip exploring the River Fal in calm conditions with a light northerly wind and good visibility when the engine problem occurred. Once grounded, the vessel started to list over on its port side on a falling tide.

Both lifeboats were paged at 8.54pm and launched on service shortly after. The Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat Eve Pank, crewed by Claire Angove (Helm), Tom Bird and Chris Simpson, arrived on scene at 9.09pm. The all-weather lifeboat Richard Cox Scott under the command of Coxswain/Mechanic Jonathon Blakeston with Second Coxswain Luke Wills, and crew members Dave Nicoll, Jonathon Hackwell, Jake Ingleby, Sandy Proctor, Adrian Hingston and Tamsin Mulcahy, reached the scene at 9.21pm. Portscatho Coastguard Rescue team was also tasked to assist.

On arrival at the scene, the inshore lifeboat crew confirmed that 12 of the people from the schooner were ashore on the beach with three remaining on the vessel. A crew member from the inshore lifeboat was put on board the grounded schooner to assist. The casualties were transferred by the inshore lifeboat to the all-weather lifeboat. A RIB (rigid inflatable boat) belonging to the schooner’s owners arrived on scene and three of the vessel’s crew were transferred to this boat to stand by the stranded sailing ship to await recovery. The 12 other people were taken back to Falmouth Lifeboat Station.

Falmouth RNLI Coxswain Jonathon Blakeston said: ‘All 15 people on board the schooner were wearing lifejackets and, in the calm conditions, were in no real danger. We were pleased to be able to help them.’

The schooner was recovered on the next high tide and returned to Falmouth.

Notes to editors

  • The photos show the schooner aground at Turnaware Point. Credit: Falmouth RNLI

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact: Simon Culliford, RNLI Volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07971986978,; or Emma Haines Regional Media Officer on 07786 668847, ; or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.

The schooner aground at Turnaware Point after suffering a mechanical failure

Falmouth RNLI

The schooner aground at Turnaware Point

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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