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Three RNLI lifeboats go to aid of historic sailing boat in ten-hour shout

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat crews from Padstow, Sennen Cove and Penlee were tasked Wendesday [22 May] night to reports of a 23m sailing vessel taking on water.

Jason Ward

Leader in Newlyn harbour with Penlee lifeboat in the background

The vessel, Leader, requested urgent assistance to Falmouth coastguard when it was 11 miles west of Trevose Head, and Padstow RNLI launched its all-weather lifeboat shortly after 19.30.

Padstow lifeboat volunteers then escorted the vessel and transferred two crew on board to assist the eight-strong crew of Leader, before handing over to Sennen Cove lifeboat to support the casualty vessel around Land’s End where the Penlee Lifeboat took over.

Penlee lifeboat escorted the the Brixham trawler to Newlyn, the nearest safe harbour that could accommodate a vessel of its size.

In a shout involving three RNLI lifeboats and lasting 10 hours in total, the RNLI's volunteer crews brought the casualty vessel and its crew of eight to safety.

The vessel, Leader, is owned by the Atlantic Youth Trust, an Irish youth development charity. The boat was built in 1892 and measures 23m long without bowsprits making it the largest Brixham trawler ever built.

Peter Scallan of the Atlantic Youth Trust said: ‘Me and my colleagues would like to thank the RNLI for its attendance to Leader last night. The prompt response to the pagers, and the friendly and professional manner in which the crew dealt with the situation was very much appreciated.

‘In particular, we would like to thank the two crew members who boarded Leader to assist with the pumping represented the best of the RNLI and were very supportive of the skipper, mate and crew of Leader.

‘On behalf of all at Atlantic Youth Trust, we want to thank the RNLI and wish them congratulations for 200 years of success in saving lives at sea, and particular best wishes to the crew attending the garden party at Buckingham Palace today.’

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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