Brothers coxswain Penlee and Sennen Cove lifeboats on joint search
On Monday 4 November the Sennen Cove RNLI Tamar class lifeboat City of London III launched at 2.45am, following a request from HM Coastguard to carry out a search for an activated distress beacon.
Initially the search area was about a mile off shore between Gwennap Head and Porthcurno. The Penlee Severn class lifeboat Ivan Ellen was also launched to assist in the search. It was further decided to enlist the help of the Coastguard Rescue helicopter 924 which arrived on scene at about 3.30am.
A slow and methodical search was carried out, gradually widening the area covered. The helicopter also flew over the land area, since there was always a possibility that the beacon was inland. The search area was lengthened to include the stretch from Land's End to Lamorna. At about 4.40am the helicopter was released from the search and returned to base.
The two lifeboats continued to sweep the coastal areas until 6am when it was finally decided that the beacon must be somewhere on land. Consequently the lifeboats were stood down at 6.15am.
The Sennen Cove lifeboat accompanied the Penlee lifeboat back to Newlyn, and waited in the harbour for favourable tides to enable a recovery at Sennen Cove. The City of London III arrived back at station at 8.45am.
An interesting footnote to this service is that, because our coxswain,Ollie George, was on weekend leave until 9am on Monday, the Second Coxswain, Dan Shannon took the Sennen Cove boat out. At the same time the Penlee boat was skippered by the Deputy Coxswain, Jack Shannon, who is, of course, Dan's brother. Quite a family enterprise!
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.