A lifeboat crew going to the rescue of a stricken sailor arrived at the scene only to discover it was one of their own volunteers in trouble.

It was just after 12.30pm on Thursday that Fowey's inshore lifeboat was scrambled by Falmouth Coastguard, after receiving a Pan Pan call from a man on a rib in Lantic Bay.

One of the tubes on the five metre rib had burst and deflated and the man contacted the coastguard.

However, when the lifeboat crew arrived at the rib they discovered that the man onboard was none other than fellow RNLI volunteer, Rob Collings – a member of Fowey RNLI's fundraising committee, who has been helping to raise funds for the lifeboat station for the past ten years.

Rob is on the fundraising committee for the lifeboat   Picture: Fowey RNLI

Rob is on the fundraising committee for the lifeboat Picture: Fowey RNLI

Writing on the Fowey RNLI Facebook page, Rob said: "I was about one mile off Lantic Bay. It was a lovely calm day and I’d just had my lunch and was thinking about putting a fishing line over the side of the boat.

"Suddenly there was a loud bang and the rear starboard tube burst and immediately deflated. The sponson had part filled with water and was dragging the side of the boat down.

"I initially thought that I could pump it back up, but the cone at the end of the tube had split and there was a hole. At that point I thought this could get a bit serious, so I made a Pan Pan call on my VHF to Falmouth Coastguard.

"A local boat in the area heard the Pan Pan and immediately rushed to my rescue. They were very helpful and managed to tow me to the harbour mouth. There we were met by the inshore lifeboat and the crew set up a tow line."

The inshore lifeboat brought the damaged rib into harbour  Picture: Fowey RNLI

The inshore lifeboat brought the damaged rib into harbour Picture: Fowey RNLI

Rob was transferred to the inshore lifeboat and his rib was was towed back into Fowey Harbour to Caffa Mill, where the crew put the boat onto its road trailer.

Rob added: "I know the crew well and have watched the lifeboat go out many many times over the years, but this was the first time I have ever been on the receiving end as a casualty vessel.

"The crew gave me real confidence, they were so reassuring and dealt with the situation in such a professional manner.

READ NEXT:

"To see them on a shout and to see how good they are was a real eye-opener, they couldn’t have been more helpful. I would like to offer them my sincere thanks and I would also like to thank the crew on the local boat that came to my assistance."

A spokesperson for Fowey RNLI said: "The air inside inflatable rib tubes can expand in extreme heat. If there is any sort of weakness in the tubes then they could be at risk of bursting.

"Fowey RNLI advise people to take extra care when using ribs in hot conditions and to ensure that, like Rob, they always wear a lifejacket and carry a means of calling 999 coastguard for help."