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Falmouth volunteer lifeboat crew assist a person in a boat stranded on rocks

Lifeboats News Release

Falmouth’s Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat Eve Pank launched at 5.55pm on Tuesday (21 November) after Falmouth Coastguard received a report of flashing lights and shouting in the vicinity of Bar Beach on the Helford. Falmouth Coastguard Rescue Team was also tasked to investigate.

The lifeboat, crewed by Neil Capper (helm), Sandy Procter and Tom Bird, arrived on scene at 6.10pm. The initial reports had suggested the possibility of a 25 foot yacht sinking but members of Falmouth Coastguard Rescue Team had located a young woman and her small rowing boat in difficulty on the rocks west of the Ferry Boat Inn.

The casualty was one of two people staying on a yacht in the river and she had rowed, on her own, across to the Ferry Boat Inn. She then attempted the row back to the yacht and in the dark and deteriorating conditions, had extreme difficulty making headway and ended up on the rocks. She had struggled for about 30 minutes before assistance arrived.

The Coastguard Rescue Team helped guide the inshore lifeboat in to recover the casualty and after the crew checked her over and established she was all right, took her and the rowing boat back to the yacht.

After the incident, Neil Capper, Falmouth RNLI volunteer inshore lifeboat helm, said: ‘The casualty was very lucky that someone heard the calls for help and raised the alarm. The outcome could have been very different particularly as she didn’t have a radio and wasn’t wearing a lifejacket.’

The RNLI crew offered some safety advice before returning to the lifeboat station.

Notes to editors

  • The RNLI always recommend that a lifejacket is worn. Around 190 people die in UK and Irish waters each year and research has proven that wearing a lifejacket can increase your chances of survival by up to four times if you’re immersed in cold water.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact; Simon Culliford, RNLI Volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07971986978,; or Amy Caldwell Regional Media Manager on 07920818807,; or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.

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.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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