Looe RNLI volunteers launch to two persons cut off by tide at Tregantle

Lifeboats News Release

Due to their location and poor sea conditions, the casualties were winched to safety by HM Coastguard helicopter rescue 924

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

RNLI/Ian Foster

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

Yesterday evening, Thursday 17 December 2020, Falmouth Coastguard Operations centre requested the immediate launch of both Looe RNLI inshore lifeboats following a 999 call from two walkers who were trapped below cliffs after getting cut off by the tide to the East of Tregantle on Whitsand bay. Within eight minutes of the pagers sounding at 4.19 pm our volunteer crews launched the charity’s Atlantic 85 and D Class inshore lifeboats. Both boats made best speed towards the location in poor weather and a freshening 30 knot SSW wind. The Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II arrived on scene as the light was fading, after a brief search our crew spotted lights from the casualty’s mobile phone torches. Approaching the shore line the crew on the D Class Ollie Naismith found the two meter sea swell increasing in the shallower water, with waves driven by the wind and incoming tide crashing against a rocky shoreline. Due to the rough sea conditions, it was decided the best method of extraction would be by helicopter. Both inshore lifeboats stood by off shore to provide safety cover for the Coastguard rescue helicopter whilst the Looe, Tamar and Plymouth coastguard rescue teams who had arrived on scene, prepared a landing site. Safe and uninjured the walkers were reunited with their vehicle after being winched from the cliffs.

In worsening weather conditions, the Atlantic 85 escorted the D Class safely back to Looe where the lifeboats were recovered, washed down and refuelled ready for service at 6.30 pm.

Dave Haines, Looe RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager says ‘the walkers had been exploring the beach and caves when they realised the tide was coming in and cut off their exit from the beach. They had to climb onto rocks to escape the rising tide. It is a timely reminder to always check the tide times and keep aware of your surroundings as this incident happened two hours before tide. At this time of year, the afternoons can get dark very quickly making it more dangerous to walk along the beach and rocks.

END

Notes to editors

Photos:

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

Information

· 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

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.

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