Busiest day ever for Looe RNLI volunteer crews
Sunday 25 July 2021 was the busiest day ever for Looe RNLI volunteer crews since Looe lifeboat station was re-established in June 1992. A personal locator beacon activation and strong off shore winds resulted in six lifeboat shouts, with seven launches
Shout 1 Launch 1 and 2
The morning started after Falmouth Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRRC) picked up an emergency signal from a personal locator beacon (PLB). When activated a PLB sends out an emergency signal which includes GPS coordinates, this enables the MRCC to task the closest lifeboat stations. As the PLB location was 2.5 miles off Portwrinkle, Falmouth MRCC requested the immediate launch of both Looe @RNLI inshore lifeboats. Within seven minutes both of the charity’s inshore lifeboats were heading out into Looe bay towards the reported location. About ten minutes later as our boats were approximately halfway to the incident’s location, they were stood down to return to station. Plymouth lifeboat station’s all weather lifeboat was also tasked but was stood down before launch.
Shout 2 Launch 3
After returning to station, washing down and refuelling the lifeboats ready for their next service, our volunteer crews hardly had time for lunch before pagers sounded again at 1.55 pm. Falmouth MRCC had received a 999 call reporting three children / teenagers on paddle and body boards being blown out to sea at Millendreath. Quickly arriving on scene, our crew on the D Class inshore lifeboat Ollie Naismith found that the group had been escorted safely ashore.
Shout 3 Launch 4 and 5
Less than 2 hours later, at 3.52 pm our crew were paged again to launch the Ollie Naismith to investigate reports of one person on an inflatable dinghy being blown out to sea off Seaton. The incident was concluded successfully with the assistance of Plymouth lifeboat station, but we are unable to release any more information about this shout.
Shout 4 Shore based incident
Whilst our shore crew were waiting for the return of the D Class lifeboat, a teenage male called at the station seeking assistance after suffering an adverse reaction to a jellyfish sting. As one of the crew on the D Class dealing with the previous shout, is a trauma nurse, a decision was made to launch the Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II to take over, allowing our nurse to return to station to administer casualty care until the ambulance paramedics arrived.
Shout 5 Launch 6
Whilst dealing with these two ongoing incidents, a lady called at the lifeboat station expressing concern that she had lost sight of and was unable to contact her family group who were on three stand-up paddleboards and a canoe. They were overdue and she was concerned that they were struggling in the offshore wind. Our boat crew were paged at 5.17 pm and launched the Ollie Naismith eight minutes later. Shortly after leaving the river our crew spotted the group off Nailzee Point and stood by until they made it safely ashore onto East Looe beach.
Shout 6 Launch 7
Three of this afternoon’s shouts were a direct result of the strong offshore wind. Whilst out in Looe bay our crew observed that several people out on the water were not wearing buoyancy aids or carrying a means of calling for help. Before returning to station our crew on the D Class decided to check the coastline between Portnadler and Seaton. As they passed Millendreath, close to Murrayton, they noticed 2 adults and a dog who had become cut off by the incoming spring tide. Taking them safely onboard the D Class lifeboat they were taken to Millendreath beach.
Both Looe RNLI helms, Clive Palfrey and David Jackman commented on the quick response to the PLB activation. Within minutes of this activation Falmouth MRCC had tasked the appropriate search and rescue assets and with the exact coordinates, our lifeboats could head direct to the incidents’ location. This time our lifeboats were stood down en route, probably due to the accidental activation of the PLB, but if somebody was in distress, we would have been quickly on scene to assist.
Lifeboat Operations Manager Dave Haines commended our volunteer boat and shore crews who responded in good numbers to every page. He asks everybody who uses the water to check tide times and be aware of the wind’s direction and strength. Always use appropriate safety equipment such as buoyancy aids and carry a means of calling for help. If you are on East Looe beach take a look at the information boards and orange windsock on East Looe Town Trust’s building by the Old Lifeboat Station. Please pay particular attention to the windsock if it is pointing out to sea as this denotes an offshore wind which can easily blow an inflatable out to sea and hinder your attempts to return to shore safely. Dave goes on to say that once again these shouts prove the versatility of the D Class inshore lifeboat and asks our community and visitors to Looe to help us bring the Ollie Naismith II to Looe by donating to the Looe Lifeboat Appeal.
Notes to editors
· Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith and Atlantic 85
Sheila and Dennis Tongue II returning to station after shout 1 this morning
Photo credit RNLI / Ian Foster
· Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith launching on service to shout 5 this afternoon
Photo credit RNLI / Ian Foster
· Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II returning to station after the successful conclusion of shout 3
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
· Looe RNLI have launched the Looe Lifeboat Appeal – Ollie Naismith II to raise £78,000 for a replacement D Class inshore lifeboat
Ollie Naismith II
· RNLI safety advice for yacht sailing and motorboating can be found at
· For further information on Looe RNLI Lifeboats please visit our website www.looelifeboats.co.uk
· Looe RNLI Facebook page www.facebook.com/LooeRNLI
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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.