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Penlee RNLI’s lifeboats launch to vessel aground near Porthleven

Lifeboats News Release

Penlee RNLI’s inshore and all-weather lifeboats launched at 10.25pm last night (Thursday 6 September) to reports of a vessel that had gone aground near Porthleven. The vessel was towed back to Newlyn harbour.

The all-weather lifeboat Ivan Ellen and inshore lifeboat Mollie and Ivor Dent launched at 10.26pm from Newlyn and were quickly on scene.

On arrival the inshore lifeboat was guided into the shore by the Porthleven and Mullion Coastguard Rescue Teams who lit up the sea with powerful search lights. The volunteer crew quickly located a 22-foot motor vessel, the Julie Ann, with two people onboard, aground on a beach just east of Porthleven.

In difficult conditions and shallow water, the volunteer crew of the inshore lifeboat managed to get a rope to the stricken vessel and slowly towed it off the beach. Volunteer crewman Jack Shannon was transferred to the motor vessel and the tow was passed to the all-weather lifeboat Ivan Ellen.

Because of the low tide a decision was made to tow the vessel to Newlyn - at 1am both lifeboats and the casualty vessel arrived safely in Newlyn Harbour, it was rafted alongside the lifeboat and towed to a pontoon berth.

The casualty vessel, recently purchased from Plymouth, was on route to the Isle of Man when its anchor rope parted. The vessel then drifted ashore - the VHF radio did not work which meant the crew on board were unable to call for assistance. Thankfully a member of the public saw the vessel aground and reported it via 999 to Falmouth Coastguard Operations Centre.

The new owner of the boat didn’t wish to be named but said: ‘We didn’t really want to be rescued by the lifeboat but we were both really pleased to see them heading towards and realise that it was for the best. Crew member Jack was spot on - he came onboard to assist us and knew exactly what he was doing. We had to cut our anchor away to remain safe. Our thanks go to the crew and everyone that helped us last night.’

They plan to continue their journey once all the vessel’s safety equipment is fully functional and have received relevant safety advice from Penlee RNLI.

Both lifeboats were refuelled, washed down, and made ready for service at 1:45am this morning.

ALB Crew - Coxswain Patch Harvey, Mechanic Tony Rendle, Jack Shannon, Adrian Bick, Paul Boulton, Marcel Le Bretton & Jason Ward.

ILB Crew - Helm Ben Keogh, Dan Sell, Andrew Wood & Tom Matson.

The Julie Ann moored in Newlyn harbour


The Julie Ann moored in Newlyn harbour

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