The Lizard’s Tamar class all-weather lifeboat Rose launched on Thursday morning after the 100-year-old wooden Baltic Trading vessel Ruth lost its main mast three miles southwest of Lizard Point with with four people on board. 

The crew launched just after 9:30am after Falmouth Coastguard was contacted by the vessel's master asking for a helping hand when the vessels wooden mast broke, sending the rigging and sails overboard.

A Lizard RNLI spokesman said that once at the scene it was obvious to the lifeboat crew that the mast was far too big and heavy to get back inboard.

There was also a concern that if the Ruth’s engine was started the rigging may foul her propeller.

Two Lizard lifeboat crew members, Simon Fayers and station mechanic Dan Atkinson were transferred onto the vessel and they set up a towline.

It then took over four hours against the flood tide, to tow the vessel to Falmouth Harbour where she was placed on a mooring.

Dan Atkinson said: "Ruth is a lovely old wooden Baltic Trading vessel. Her main mast collapsed and the master had no other option but to give the Coastguard a call for assistance. We set up a line on board and towed her steadily to Falmouth."

The lifeboat crew were: Coxswain Andrew Putt, mechanic Dan Atkinson and crew members Johnny Bray, Simon Fayers, Kevin Kinvig and Burnie Nixon.

 This was the second call The Lizard lifeboat has had to deal with in three days. On Monday the lifeboat launched to assist a 33ft fishing vessel that had damaged its propeller off Cadgwith with a party of thirteen onboard. The vessel was taken in tow to Falmouth Harbour.

To find out more about The Lizard lifeboat station please visit the station website at