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Fowey RNLI respond to two paddle boarders in distress during storm Ellen

Lifeboats News Release

At 6pm on Friday 21 August, Fowey RNLI volunteer crew responded to a pager alert during storm Ellen for two paddle boarders in distress near Chapel Point, between Gorran Haven and Mevagissey.

The sea conditions were difficult, as Storm Ellen, which has been making landfall in the UK for the last two days, had created strong winds and very large swell. The paddle boarders had been seen making little headway, and so the all-weather lifeboat was launched to assist them.

The first paddle boarder was sighted by crew member Tim Stables in St. Austell Bay. The first paddle boarder reported that he and the other paddle boarder had launched from Gorran Haven and had decided to paddle around to Fowey. He insisted that he was not in distress, and that he be allowed to continue to Fowey. The second paddle boarder, who was some distance behind, was then spotted by crew member James Dowrick after a brief search.

Both paddle-boarders were escorted to Fowey and safely exited the water at Readymoney Beach in Fowey Harbour, the all-weather lifeboat returned to the station.

Coxswain Jonathan Pritchard said: “All of our volunteer crew performed admirably in very difficult conditions. It was determined that in this case the casualties should be shadowed into Fowey as the sea conditions were very adverse. The RNLI strongly recommends that anyone at sea always wear a lifejacket, carry a means of calling for help and keep it within reach, and is aware of tides and weather forecasts.”

The RNLI is committed to maintaining a full service during this time despite the continued risks of COVID-19. In any coastal emergency, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

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.

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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.