Looe RNLI crews launch into Storm Agnes to investigate a drifting paddleboard
A high spring tide launch in blustery conditions for Looe RNLI volunteer crews to investigate an unoccupied paddleboard drifting in Looe river
The high spring tide in Looe yesterday afternoon, Wednesday 27 September 2023, coincided with blustery sea conditions as Storm Agnes passed over Cornwall and the South West. A member of the public on West Looe Quay spotted an unoccupied paddleboard drifting up river under the bridge. She was aware of a person using a paddleboard in the river earlier in the afternoon and rang Falmouth Coastguard MRCC on 999 as she was worried something had happened to them. At 3.33 pm crew pagers sounded requesting an immediate launch of the charity’s D Class inshore lifeboat Ollie Naismith II. Launching within seven minutes helm Dan Margetts with crew Dave Jackman, Toby Bray and Matt Jaycock headed upriver to investigate and locate the paddleboard. Concerned that someone may had fallen off the paddleboard further down river our Lifeboat Operations Manager, Dave Haines authorised the launch of the Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II. Helmed by Clive Palfrey, crew members Jack Spree, Aaron Rix and Goron Jones searched the lower river, East Looe beach and Hannafore before returning to the river to start searching in between the moored boats below the bridge. Shortly afterwards, Dave received a phone call from one of our deputy launch authorities, Brain Bowdler, who had recovered the paddleboard by Pearn’s boatyard on the Millpool. The owner of the paddleboard was quickly identified and found to be safe and well onshore, it transpired that in the strong winds, strappings on a moored boat had given way and the paddleboard, with a wake board had blown into the river. The lifeboats were stood down and returned to station where they were recovered by head launcher Simon Rawe, tractor driver Eric Candy supported by shore crew Will Jaycock, Del Palfrey, Paul Barley, Jonty Wearing and Stuart Haresnape.
Dave Haines commented that our crew responded in good numbers to the pager and the first informant did the right thing in contacting the coastguards to report her concerns.
Notes to editors
· High tide launch of Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II
Photo credit Looe RNLI / Stuart Haresnape
· High tide recovery of Looe RNLI Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II
Photo credit Looe RNLI / Dave Haines
· Re-established as an inshore lifeboat station in 1992, Looe RNLI operate two inshore lifeboats
An Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II and a D Class Ollie Naismith II
· For further information on Looe RNLI Lifeboats please visit our website www.looelifeboats.co.uk
· Looe RNLI Facebook page www.facebook.com/LooeRNLI
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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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