Looe RNLI volunteers investigate reports of an upturned hull in Looe bay
Launching to investigate reports of a white overturned hull, Looe RNLI volunteers discover the carcass of a whale drifting 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.
Notes to editors
· -2 images
Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II alongside the whale carcass in Looe bay
Photo credit RNLI / Clive Palfrey
· 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
· 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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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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