Falmouth RNLI volunteers assist in search for an overdue boat

Lifeboats News Release

Both Falmouth lifeboats were launched on Saturday evening (7 January) to assist with a search for an overdue punt with two people on board in the Helford River.

Falmouth’s Severn class all-weather lifeboat Richard Cox Scott and Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Robina Nixon Chard

RNLI/Simon Culliford

Falmouth’s Severn class all-weather lifeboat Richard Cox Scott and Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Robina Nixon Chard

The two men had been fishing from the boat and were last seen off Durgan at 3.30pm. A concerned member of the public made a 999 call to the UK Coastguard to report that the boat was overdue. Falmouth’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Robina Nixon Chard launched at 5.33pm with the station’s Severn class all-weather lifeboat Richard Cox Scott, under the command of Coxswain Jonathon Blakeston, launching at 5.37pm. Falmouth, Porthoustock and Mullion Coastguard Rescue Teams were also deployed to assist.

Once arriving on scene, the inshore lifeboat was tasked to carry out a shoreline search while the all-weather lifeboat was tasked to carry out a search pattern from the mouth of the Helford. Porthoustock and Mullion Coastguard Rescue Teams were tasked to search the south side of the river with the Falmouth Coastguard Rescue Team searching the north side where one of the casualties was located safe and well at Bar Beach. He informed the Coastguard Team that the second casualty had swam towards the south side of the river so the search for him was concentrated there.

It is believed that the casualties had got into difficulties while rowing their boat in the squally conditions with a force 6 to 7 south westerly wind and moderate sea. However, they made managed to make it ashore and drag the three-metre craft up the beach.

The second casualty was eventually located in his van on the Helford side of the river. The inshore lifeboat was requested to put two crew members ashore to help with casualty care. A doctor crew member on the all-weather lifeboat was also landed ashore by the inshore lifeboat.

Once the casualty had been checked over and it was confirmed that no further action was required, both lifeboats were released from service at 7.10pm to return to the lifeboat station.

Speaking about the incident, Falmouth RNLI Coxswain Jonathon Blakeston said:

‘It was unwise for the second casualty to enter the water to swim to the other side of the river. The outcome could have been very different but thankfully both casualties were found safe and well.’

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Simon Culliford, RNLI Volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07971986978 or [email protected] or Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer [email protected] or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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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Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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