Falmouth RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews assist stranded schooner
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, 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
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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.