Looe RNLI volunteers investigate reports of an upturned hull in Looe bay

Lifeboats News Release

Launching to investigate reports of a white overturned hull, Looe RNLI volunteers discover the carcass of a whale drifting in Looe bay

Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II alongside the whale carcass in Looe bay

RNLI/Clive Palfrey

Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II alongside the whale carcass in Looe bay

Looe RNLI volunteer crew pagers sounded this lunchtime, Friday 12 March 2021, at 12.28 pm after Falmouth Coastguard Operations Centre received a report of what looked like a white overturned hull drifting in Looe bay. Within 10 minutes head launcher Brian Bowdler with shore crew Simon Rawe and Aaron Rix were escorting tractor driver Eric Candy along the river bed for a low tide launch of the charity’s Atlantic 85, Sheila and Dennis Tongue II. After launching into a fresh south westerly wind, helm Toby Bray with crew Alastair Pearn, Dan Margetts and Clive Palfrey headed out into Looe bay to commence a search. Meanwhile members of Looe Coastguard rescue team met with the first informant at Plaidy. The Coastguard team were able to see the object through binoculars and passed information over VHF radio to guide our crew towards the object’s location, which was further out in the bay.

As our crew approached the object, which was drifting half a mile south east of the Rannies cardinal marker, they were able to see it was the decomposing carcass of a whale. The whale was approx. 8 m in length and at least 1.5 m of the carcass was out of the water. After reporting their find and current position to the coastguards, our crew were stood down and returned to station.

Whilst washing down and refuelling the Atlantic 85 for its next service, our crew commented that were preparing themselves for the worst, as from a distance the object looked like the upturned hull of a yacht. Whilst they were relieved that there were no persons in difficulty, they were saddened to find a dead whale. Our crew also said the first informant did the right thing by immediately contacting the coastguards when they saw the object in the bay.

END

Notes to editors

Photos:

· -2 images
Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II alongside the whale carcass in Looe bay

Photo credit RNLI / Clive Palfrey

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

· Looe RNLI have recently launched the Looe Lifeboat Appeal – Ollie Naismith II to raise £78,000 for a replacement D Class inshore lifeboat Ollie Naismith II
www.justgiving.com/fundraising/looe-lifeboat-appeal

· 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 Marianne Quinn, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on 07786 668847 or marianne_quinn@rnli.org.uk

Alternatively you can contact the RNLI Duty Press Officer on 01202 336789
Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II alongside the whale carcass in Looe bay

RNLI/Clive Palfrey

Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II alongside the whale carcass in Looe bay

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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