St Ives lifeboat launches to Mayday call from fishing vessel taking on water
At 10.03am on Saturday 10 August the pagers sounded, and the volunteer crew responded.
Deputy Second Coxswain Robin Langford launched the all-weather lifeboat along with volunteer crew George Deacon, Daisy Jarvis, Jonathan Harvey, Nick Phillips and Ian Timms.
Falmouth coastguard had received reports of a 22 metre vessel taking on water 15 miles NNW of St Ives head.
The crew launched the all-weather lifeboat into very poor weather conditions. With the faces of the waves at around 20 foot, the crew pushed on and made their way to the location. On arrival the crew established that the vessel was taking on water in the stern of the boat. The conditions were far too poor to transfer any salvage pump, or indeed any crew members onto the casualty vessel. Thankfully the casualty vessel was able to confirm to the crew that they had the intake of water under control.
Search and rescue helicopter 924 was also on the scene, and as the conditions were too challenging for the crew to transfer, they were able to lower a winchperson with a salvage pump onto the casualty vessel. Again, as the conditions continued to be difficult, the pump was not as effective as it could have been, mainly because the vessel was moving up and down considerably; one minute the pump was under water and the next it wasn’t.
The casualty vessel continued to work with the pump, whilst our crew and all-weather lifeboat accompanied them to ensure their safety, heading towards Lands End, the plan being that our crew would escort them on and hand over to another crew to see the casualty vessel into Newlyn.
The casualty vessel and our lifeboat crew made their way onward and met a neighbouring station, Penlee, and handed the escort over to the crew in the Cape Cornwall area.
The St Ives crew then made their way back to the station, having been on service from 10.06am. The volunteer crew returned to St Ives at 3.03pm, five hours later.
Robin Langford commented, 'The crew did a sterling job in what were challenging conditions over a prolonged period of time. They worked together extremely efficiently ensuring that every task was managed quickly and effectively.’
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.