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Empty inflatable sparks extensive, and expensive, Falmouth search operation
10:55am Tuesday 13th August 2013 in News
Falmouth RNLI crews called out and full scale search launched after empty boat was spotted floating near Falmouth dockyard.
The inshore and all weather lifeboats, alongside cliff rescue team and a helicopter from Culdrose were called out at approximately 11pm on Friday evening after theinflatable boat was located drifting near Falmouth Dockyard by a tug.
The oars were rigged and there was a towel in the boat so the alarm was raised to find the occupant.
The coastguard called the Falmouth RNLI volunteer lifeboats, the inshore at 11:06 pm and the all weather at just past half-past the hour, to assist in the search for the person who was assumed to be rowing the dinghy.
The coastguard Cliff Rescue Team and a helicopter from Culdrose were also tasked to assist.
Despite the RNLI lifeboats searching the whole of the harbour and the rivers and creeks around it, as well as the cliff rescue team combing the cliffs and shore around the harbour, and the search and rescue helicopter scanning the area with its infra red cameras, nothing was found.
The search was called off at approximately ten minutes past one in the morning the lifeboats returned to station to wash down, refuel and get ready for service again.
A spokesman for the RNLI said that the inflatable had been identified as the tender to the yacht Only Just, moored on a visitor mooring in the harbour but because the towel found in the boat was not theirs it was assumed that the boat had been stolen.
Adding that despite the intensive, and expensive, search by upwards of twenty volunteers and several RN personnel, the perpetrators were not found.
Manning the all weather lifeboat for this search were: Mark Pollard (Coxswain); John Blakeston; Allister Heane; Dave Nicoll; Diane Bush; Claire Angove; Neil Capper and Eliot Holman.
In the inshore lifeboat were: Luke wills (Helmsman); Tom Bird and Nick Head.
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