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Fowey lifeboat crew rescue paddleboarder washed up onto rocks

Lifeboats News Release

On Tuesday November 14 Fowey lifeboat station received a request from Falmouth coastguard to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 12:41 to a paddleboarder and swimmer in the water off Portmellon.

The wind was blowing offshore, a strong westerly blowing straight out of Portmellon at 23 gusting to 30 knots with a 2.6m swell until in the lee of the land. Due to the weather conditions the paddleboarder was unable to control her board and eventually got washed onto rocks near Chapel Point. She had been in the water or sitting on the rocks for about an hour, and had no personal flotation device, wet suit or other aids. Fortunately she was carrying a phone.

Fowey’s all-weather lifeboat arrived on scene at 2:07pm. The casualty was stranded on the rocks with no way of getting off. The volunteer crew used the XP daughter boat so that they could get close into the rocks to recover the casualty. She was hypothermic and exhausted and unable to help herself. She was transferred to the all-weather lifeboat and put into a Dry Robe, then taken into Portmellon shore on the XP boat as it was low water. There she was handed over to the coast guard and a waiting ambulance team, who started to warm her up.

By this time the swimmer had made his own way back and the coastguard team confirmed that he had been located and was safe and well. Once the casualty had been handed over the XP boat returned to the all-weather boat which then returned to station.

Fowey lifeboat operations manager, Chris Ogg, said: ‘The RNLI urges people to check the weather forecast carefully before venturing out on the water, especially when paddleboarding. Avoid offshore winds as you can easily be blown out to sea very quickly and offshore winds will tire you quickly when trying to return to shore. Always wear a personal floatation device and suitable clothing for the forecasted conditions and always carry a means of calling for help.’

Video clip shows some of the crew running to the shout after attending the Remembrance Day service in Fowey.

Fowey RNLI

Library photo of Fowey's XP boat onboard the all-weather lifeboat

Fowey RNLI

Library photo of Fowey's XP boat onboard the all-weather lifeboat

Fowey RNLI

Library photo of Fowey's XP boat onboard the all-weather lifeboat

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.