Looe RNLI volunteers rescue broken down dory in darkness and thick fog

Lifeboats News Release

Early yesterday morning Looe RNLI volunteers launched in darkness and thick fog to assist one person, on a dory with engine problems, drifting between Looe and Seaton. After a brief search the dory was located and towed back onto moorings in Looe river

Stock image - Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II night time lau

RNLI/Ian Foster

Stock image - Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II night time lau

Yesterday morning, Sunday 15 September 2019, before sunrise, a fisherman on a 17’ dory boat set off from Looe early, for a days angling. Between Looe and Seaton the dory’s outboard engine failed. The casualty, uncertain of his position due to darkness and thick fog, dialled 999 to contact the coastguard for assistance, resulting in an early morning alarm call at 5.10 am for Looe RNLI volunteers.

Tractor driver, John Pope with head launcher Del Palfrey, supported by seven shore crew, launched the charity’s Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II. Helm, Clive Palfrey, cautiously took the Atlantic 85 out from Looe river at reduced speed due to the limited visibility. Once out in Looe bay, crew Toby Bray, Victoria Thomas and Dan Margetts started a radar search and calling the casualty on vhf radio. Making radio contact with the casualty, the crew were able to use the Atlantic’s vhf/dsc direction finder to locate the dory’s position. Once alongside, a tow was quickly established, and the dory was towed back to a mooring on Looe River.

Describing the rescue, helm Clive Palfrey commented on the effectiveness of the Atlantic 85’s vhf direction finder which he says ‘is a fantastic piece of kit to have in this morning’s weather conditions.

‘The casualty was carrying all the proper safety equipment; vhf radio, mobile phone, lifejacket, plb and waterproof torch, which enabled the lifeboat crew to locate the casualty quickly without a prolonged search. Clive went on to say that ‘as usual the crew and shore crew reacted quickly, with many turning out for an early morning shout, he praised the whole crew for their professionalism in the difficult conditions.

Atlantic 85 crew Clive Palfrey (helm), Toby Bray, Victoria Thomas and Dan Margetts

Shore crew Del Palfrey ( head launcher) John Pope ( tractor driver ) Chris Lewis,
Matt Jaycock , Dave Jackman, Brian Bowdler, Goron Jones, Nick Pope and Sue Foster


Notes to editors

RNLI ‘How to call for help at sea’ safety advice can be found on this link



· Stock image - Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II night time launch
Photo credit RNLI / Ian Foster


· Re-established as an inshore lifeboat station in 1992, Looe RNLI operate two inshore lifeboats
An Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II and a D Class Ollie Naismith

· For further information on Looe RNLI Lifeboats please visit our website www.looelifeboats.co.uk

· Looe RNLI Facebook page www.facebook.com/LooeRNLI

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Ian Foster, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Looe Lifeboat Station, on 07902 753228 or looelpo@ianfoster.com or ian_foster@rnli.org.uk

or Amy Caldwell, RNLI Regional Media Manager, on 07920 818807 or amy_caldwell@rnli.org.uk

or Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on 07786 668847 or emma.haines@rnli.org.uk

Alternatively you can contact the RNLI Duty Press Officer on 01202 336789

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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 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.

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