Falmouth RNLI exceeds 100 shouts this year

Lifeboats News Release

Falmouth RNLI has launched its all-weather lifeboat twice in the past week, to rescue yachts in danger. The lifeboat station has now responded to over 100 shouts in 2021.

RNLI/Simon Culliford

On Wednesday 20th October, with winds gusting up to 80 knots (92 miles per hour), Falmouth Coastguard requested the support of both Falmouth’s lifeboats, to assist with a Mayday call. A 12-metre yacht with two people on board had dragged its mooring and become tangled in the bowsprit of another sailing vessel, moored in Falmouth Harbour.

Falmouth’s all-weather lifeboat (ALB) and inshore lifeboat (ILB) both made their way up the harbour where Falmouth Pilot Boat was already on scene, illuminating the yacht. On arrival the ILB placed a crew member on board to help establish a tow from the ALB. The yacht was towed clear of the other boat’s bowsprit and was taken into clear water before being secured safely.

The severe winds, combined with a high tide, led to several more boats dragging their moorings that evening. The ILB was therefore released to check Falmouth Harbour and Penryn River for any other boats in difficulty. A second yacht, which was unmanned, had dragged its mooring was located close to the lifeboat pontoon. It was taken in tow by the ALB and placed on the Docks pontoon overnight.

Once it was confirmed that there were no more people at risk, both lifeboats returned to the station. Despite extreme weather conditions, nobody was injured, and all vessels were safely returned to their moorings the following morning.

This week (26th October), Falmouth Coastguard requested the assistance of Falmouth’s all-weather lifeboat for a second time, following a Pan Pan call from a 10-metre yacht with four people on board. It had been driven aground on the western side of August Rock, at entrance to the Helford River.

On arrival at the scene, the lifeboat’s inflatable Y-Boat was launched with one crew member on board. The yacht was successfully refloated and was guided away from the rock into deeper water. Once it was confirmed that there was no water ingress, the yacht was escorted by the lifeboat towards Falmouth where it proceeded back to its berth under its own power. There were no injuries on board.

Jonathon Blakeston, Coxwain, Falmouth Lifeboat said: “Well done and thank you to our lifeboat crews for their great service over the past week, particularly in light of some of the extremely challenging and dangerous weather conditions they faced.

“Exceeding 100 shouts is a big achievement. Cornwall has been a very popular destination this year, and it’s been one of our busiest summers. The professionalism, dedication, and bravery of our volunteers has ensured the safety of countless vessels and their crew.”

RNLI/Simon Culliford

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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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.