Fowey RNLI lifeboat crew rescue stranded walkers cut off by tide
Fowey volunteer RNLI crew launched their inshore D Class lifeboat at 4.34pm on Friday 8 September to rescue a man and a woman who were stranded on rocks after being cut off by the tide at Polmear Island in Carlyon Bay.
The walkers called 999 to alert the coastguard, who requested the Fowey lifeboat to launch. The Fowey crew arrived on scene at 4.52pm and spotted two people sheltering on some rocks. Although the casualties had managed to get up onto higher ground the tide was rising and, had they remained on the beach the water would have been at chest height.
On arrival, the helm, Callum Pritchard put crew member Graham Middlewood onto the rocks to assist the pair. Helped by other crew member Peter Perry, the casualties were fitted with inshore lifejackets and got safely onto the lifeboat. They were then taken to Charlestown harbour where they were handed over to the St Austell coastguard. The lifeboat left the rescue scene at 5.30pm and was back in Fowey and ready for action again by 6.25pm.
Helm Callum said: ‘Tidal cut off is a major cause of RNLI call outs. People are often unaware that they are in potential danger and, as such are not prepared. The tide around Polmear Island in St Austell Bay is a notorious spot for catching people unawares. Fortunately for these two they had come prepared with a means of calling for help. They did the right thing and called 999 for the coastguard. We always advise people to check the tide times and heights and to keep a look out for incoming tides before walking near the water. People should always make sure they have enough time to return safely and if in any doubt, seek local advice.’
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.