St Ives RNLI lifeboats launch three times in 24 hours
The St Ives RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew answered their pagers at around 2.48pm on Saturday 9 September.
The crew launched the Shannon all-weather lifeboat at request from Falmouth Coastguard to a 24ft broken down motorboat. At the time the lifeboat launched, an exact location wasn’t available to the crew led by Robin Langsford.
Original reports had the distressed vessel with two on board located off St Agnes head, however the crew found the motorboat with the help of the DF (direct finder) approximately half a mile from Perran Bay.
On arrival the crew could see that the flood tide was on the way up, so the tide was sweeping the boat towards the rocks and they were drifting quite quickly. The crew checked both casualties to ensure there were no health concerns, and then checked the vessel. The motorboat needed to be towed to safety.
The crew contacted the harbour master at Newquay who explained that the harbour was exceptionally busy, all boats were in and the town was also celebrating a food festival, so lots of visitors. This meant navigating the large Shannon-class lifeboat into the inner harbour wouldn’t be possible.
So, the St Ives volunteer crew proceeded to Newquay, with the planned handover of the motorboat to the Newquay lifeboat crew on their B class Atlantic lifeboat. Newquay RNLI volunteer crew met the St Ives lifeboat crew who successfully handed the motorboat tow over to them. It was high water in the harbour, and the Newquay lifeboat crew proceeded in their smaller boat into the inner harbour to complete the rescue. The St Ives volunteers then proceeded back down the coast to the station.
The team were just entering St Ives harbour to return to the station and the pager went off again, the request from Falmouth coastguard needing assistance. The team, who had just entered the harbour, turned the boat around and made their way to a local fishing vessel just off St Ives Head. On arrival the team checked the fisherman on board who explained he was in engine failure. At the fisherman’s request the lifeboat towed the vessel to a secure area where the boat was anchored. The volunteer crew then turned around and made their way back to the station to ready the boat once again for service if required.
On Sunday 10 September the St Ives RNLI volunteers were called into action again at 6.55am when the pagers sounded by Falmouth coastguard, and the inshore lifeboat was launched. A single-handed yacht approximately 20ft, located just off St Ives Head, had lost all power. On arrival the crew led by Jonathan Harvey located the yacht and spoke with the skipper – he explained that he had been experiencing engine issues and had temporarily lost power. The power had now been restored, and once the crew were sure he was able to continue his route to Padstow - they saw him off and then returned to the lifeboat station. By 7.20am the inshore lifeboat was readied once again for service.
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.