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Fowey Regatta call out for volunteer RNLI crew as seven saved from sinking boat

Lifeboats News Release

On 17 August from 6pm the brilliance of the Red Arrows stunned the town of Fowey with a flotilla of small boats watching from outside the harbour. On their return to the station the Fowey RNLI volunteer crew responded to distress call from a sinking boat.


The volunteer crew secure the sinking vessel to the all-weather lifeboat.

The all-weather lifeboat Maurice and Joyce Hardy was at sea for the duration of the Red Arrows display due to the potential difficulty of exiting the harbour if there was a shout with so many small vessels in the harbour entrance. As they were returning to the harbour after the display they heard a broadcast to the Coastguard from a vessel that had broken down and was sinking.

Within a very short time the casualty vessel was spotted from the bridge of the lifeboat so the crew proceeded quickly to its position.

On arrival it was clear that the vessel was about to sink so the seven people on board were immediately taken aboard the lifeboat to safety.

Half of vessel was now below the surface of the water and the crew of the lifeboat managed to get three ropes secured to it to stop it completely sinking. The casualty vessel was then towed very slowly into Fowey harbour where the seven casualties were helped ashore.

With assistance from the Fowey Harbour Commissioner's vessels, the boat was supported on the surface of the water and slowly moved to Penmarlam Quay where it was run ashore and pulled clear of the water.

The lifeboat was then refuelled and returned to station, ready for service by 8.30pm.

The RNLI has lots of information on its website on how to stay safe at sea, as even close to the shore the sea is still a dangerous place to be if not treated with respect. You should:

  • Always wear a lifejacket
  • Always have a means of calling for help
  • Have an action plan in place in case of emergency
  • Check the weather
  • Be aware of the conditions

Notes to editors

The enclosed photos show the sinking vessel being secured to the all-weather lifeboat. Please credit RNLI/Fowey.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Cath Beard, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Fowey RNLI on 07969 693218. For urgent calls out of hours please contact the Duty RNLI Press Officer on 01202 336789.


The stricken vessel being secured to the all-weather lifeboat.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland