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Penlee and The Lizard RNLI part of multi agency training exercise

Lifeboats News Release

On the 5 October the RNLI ran a large multi-agency exercise in Mount’s Bay which included teams from Penlee and The Lizard lifeboat stations along with staff at the MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) Falmouth as well as Coastguard staff on scene at Penlee and afloat with the lifeboat crews

shows kayaker approaching lifeboats


Lifeboats working with kayak casualties
The scenario was set up with five overdue kayakers who had set out from Perranuthnoe, heading for Poldhu. The incident was triggered by a 999 call to the MRCC where staff co-ordinated the launch of lifeboats from both stations to proceed on a shore line search from either end of the route.

Once the RNLI’s Penlee lifeboat Ivan Ellen and The Lizard lifeboat Rose were on scene, the volunteers were faced with one kayaker who was suffering from chest pain and required casualty care as well as further information that one of the group were missing. This was a paddleboarder who was last sighted approximately half a mile south of St Michael’s Mount.

The MRCC directed the lifeboats towards this area whilst building search patterns based on the predicted drift of a casualty and board in the prevailing conditions. Following a brief search the casualty was found and recovered to the Penlee inshore lifeboat Mollie and Ivor Dent.

Whilst this was happening at sea the MRCC Commander was present in the Penlee RNLI boathouse with a ‘live’ screen on which he was able to describe what was happening in the Ops Room and follow the search. This was well attended by volunteers form both stations who got a valuable insight in to how incidents are coordinated.

Following the exercise there was a thorough debrief and lessons were shared to help build an even better understanding for future incidents.

Area Lifesaving Manager Dickon Berriman said ‘This exercise was the result of a significant amount of planning form both organisations and proved immensely valuable for all involved. Having an appreciation for what our crews are faced with at sea and for us to gain a greater understanding of the difficult role faced by our colleagues in the MRCC who have to quickly process information and direct our teams. The dedication and willingness our volunteers was really impressive who threw themselves in to the exercise with professionalism’.

Thanks to our friends at Mounts Bay Kayak Club for acting as casualties.

The RNLI recommends the following;
  • Always carry a means of calling for help on your person. You must be able to reach it easily in an emergency. Consider taking a mobile phone with the SafeTrx app. 

  • Always wear a lifejacket
  • Make sure you are also wearing suitable clothing for the forecasted weather. 

  • Always check the weather forecast and tide times. Don’t get caught out by the conditions. 

  • Tell someone else where you’re going and when you’ll be back. They can raise the alarm with the coastguard by calling 999 or 112 if you are overdue. 

RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Phil Monckton, Penlee Lifeboat Press Officer on 07879818095 or [email protected], or Amy Caldwell, RNLI Regional Media Manager [email protected] or Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on 07786 668847 or [email protected].

RNLI online
For more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre
shows kayakers approaching lifeboat

RNLI/Philip Monckton

Kayakers training with lifeboats

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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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