St.Agnes RNLI launches to the report of a vessel on fire

Lifeboats News Release

The Lifeboat was launched yesterday evening to investigate a report of a potential vessel on fire around two miles off the coast from St.Agnes Head.

The St.Agnes Lifeboat was tasked at 2100hrs yesterday evening by the MRCC Falmouth to investigate a report from a member of the public, who believed they could see what looked like a vessel on fire at sea, off the coast.

The Lifeboat launched with Gav Forehead, Helm and Paul Fisher and one other crewmember to investigate the initial report.

The St.Agnes Coastguard Search and Rescue Team also attended St.Agnes Head, to undertake a visual search from the coastline.

St.Ives RNLI All Weather Lifeboat was requested to support the St.Agnes RNLI Lifeboat, due to the potential nature of the incident and to act as a support Lifeboat for the St.Agnes Lifeboat as light was fading.

After an extensive sea and coastal search, it was identified that a military helicopter had been undertaking a exercise off the coast at low level in the same area the incident of a vessel on fire had been reported. This aircraft, operating at low level, combined with the unusually bright, low level orange sunset, was deemed to be the probable cause for the mistaken report of a vessel on fire, as the spray from the helicopter at low level over the sea, combined with the orange sunset, my have looked like a vessel on fire.

All units were stood down and the St.Ives RNLI ALB escorted the St.Agnes RNLI Lifeboat back to Trevaunance Cove, as a safety precaution.

The Lifeboat was rehoused and ready for service at 2255hrs.

St.Agnes RNLI LIfeboat, Tractor and Shore Team at the return to beach of the Lifeboat. The lights of the St.Ives RNLI ALB can be seen at sea.

RNLI/Paul Kimberley

St.Agnes RNLI Lifeboat returning to Trevaunance Cove
St.Agnes RNLI Lifeboat outside the Lifeboat Station.

RNLI/Paul Kimberley

St.Agnes RNLI Team debriefing after the incident

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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.