Open all hours at Penlee lifeboat station

A twin-hulled motor boat is towed back by Penlee all-weather lifeboat. Credit: RNLI/Penlee

A twin-hulled motor boat is towed back by Penlee all-weather lifeboat. Credit: RNLI/Penlee

First published in News

The crew at Penlee lifeboat station have been living proof of the RNLI's 24-hour working day recently when they launched afternoon, evening and overnight.

In a busy few days for the team, they responded to a windsurfer, a fishing boat and a motor boat.

The first incident involved a windsurfer thought to be in trouble half a mile south of Long Rock beach.

In choppy sea conditions, the volunteers launched on Thursday, June 6 at 4pm. When they arrived on scene they found the windsurfer lying down on his board, but after a short chat discovered he was fine and just having a rest.

The crew then made sure he got back to shore safely before heading home to Newlyn.

Both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats were launched yesterday on Sunday (June 9) to investigate reports of a fishing vessel drifting very close to the shore near Pemberth.

The inshore lifeboat crew arrived first and found the casualty had been towed into deeper water by another fishing vessel - and that it would continue with towing the boat back to Penzance Harbour.

Then the following day, Monday (June 10) there was a rude awakening for the Penlee volunteers when their pagers sounded at 4.35am.

A 20 metre twin-hulled motor boat had suffered engine failure 11 miles off Newlyn and the two crew onboard were tired and suffering from seasickness.

Two RNLI volunteers were transferred to the vessel and the lifeboat towed it back to Newlyn.

Patrick ‘Patch’ Harvey, RNLI coxswain at Penlee, said the incidents prove lifeboat volunteers will respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"It’s not nice when the pagers go off in the early hours of the morning and you’re fast asleep, but we’re here to help people at sea and will respond whether it’s four in the morning or four in the afternoon," he said.

"It’s what we’re trained for and it’s good to be able to support those who’re in trouble.

"We don’t mind false alarms with good intent either. We’d rather go and check a windsurfer and find he’s alright, than have to search for him later so always remember to call 999 if you think someone is in trouble at sea."

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