Plymouth RNLI launch on service after a 999 call

Lifeboats News Release

Members of the public call 999 after concerns for a swimmer on Plymouth Hoe.

Plymouth RNLI

Stevie Jay

Plymouth ILB

The Plymouth RNLI volunteers launched the Inshore Lifeboat (Annabel E Jones) after a member of the public grew concerned for a swimmer that appeared to be struggling in the water.

After launching the Atlantic 85 class Lifeboat and arriving on scene the Plymouth RNLI volunteers quickly located the swimmer. The crew established he was okay but considering the weather conditions at the time some safety advice was given and the male returned to shore.

Stevie, the member of the public that call the Coastguard and provided us with these photos, said:

'I was just walking my dog and saw this guy swimming, usually I just let it go but he looked like he needed a bit of help. I grew concerned for the male as the strong current and wind was taking him towards the Lions den area. I knew I had to phone 999 and ask for the Coastguard as I myself am a sea swimmer.'

Our Lifeboat Mechanic Simon Jeffery said:

'We launched the Inshore Lifeboat just after 12pm today to reports of a male struggling in the vicinity of Lions Den. There was a 2-3m rough swell and blowing force 6 as we reached the casualty. The male was all okay and after some safety advice returned to shore.'

Simon also added: 'We urge everyone to think carefully about using the sea for exercise in case you get into difficulty. Also be aware of the conditions and only enter the water if it is safe to do so.'

The Plymouth Coastguard also gave safety advice to a group of swimmers about to enter the water in the same area.

The RNLI always advises people not to swim alone and it's also a good idea to wear a wetsuit to help increase your buoyancy and reduce the chances of suffering cold water shock.

Our volunteers remain on call, ready to help others during this lockdown. However, we urge everyone to think carefully about using the sea for exercise or recreation in case you get into difficulty.

When our volunteer crews are called to an incident, it puts additional pressure on them and other frontline emergency services, as well as potentially exposing them to COVID-19. Please take care and follow government instructions: stay home, protect our healthcare workers and save lives.


  • Check tide times daily
  • Take a full-charged phone
  • If going afloat, always wear a lifejacket or other personal flotation device and take a means of calling for help
  • Check your equipment is in good working order
  • Be aware of the conditions and your capabilities and only enter the water if it is safe to do so.
  • In an emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard
  • Additional safety advice at www.rnli.org/safety

Stevie Jay

Plymouth ILB

Stevie Jay

Plymouth ILB

Plymouth RNLI

Plymouth ILB

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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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.