Two teenage boys are lucky to be alive after becoming trapped on cliffs in horrendous weather thanks to the bravery and skill of the rescue teams.

At 7.35pm one evening last month the Penlee all-weather lifeboat ‘Ivan Ellen’ launched on service after receiving a tasking request from Falmouth Coastguard Operations Centre.

A young person had dialled 999 to report that he was lost on the shoreline in the dark and required help, his battery ran out before giving his exact position.

Penlee Lifeboat and Penzance Coastguard Rescue Team were just about to search an area between Marazion and Perranuthnoe when information came through to Falmouth Coastguard that the casualty was South of Mousehole.

The ‘Ivan Ellen’ steamed across the bay in a southerly force 6-7 and was joined by  inshore lifeboat ‘Mollie and Ivor Dent’ to assist in a shoreline search - using two powerful searchlights and a thermal image camera the first teenager was located on rocks about 10ft above sea level near Mousehole Cave.

Due to the poor onshore sea conditions it was unsafe to attempt an evacuation by either lifeboat.

Penzance Coastguard Rescue Team arrived on scene shortly after and made their way to the casualty - they were not able to evacuate them due to the sea conditions and dangerous accessibility. A decision was then made to call the Coastguard Rescue 924 Helicopter.

Both lifeboat’s remained on scene, keeping searchlights on the casualty until the helicopter arrived on scene just before 8pm. A winch man was lowered, and after some impressive flying by the pilot in a very difficult position, the young lad was winched to safety.

Whilst on route to Penzance Heliport to be reunited with his parents, the young casualty informed the helicopter crew that he was with a friend who could also be in need of assistance.

Both lifeboats immediately commenced a search along the shoreline and once again it was the all-weather lifeboat ‘Ivan Ellen’ that located the second teenage further along the coast.

Rescue 924 arrived on scene, recovered the second casualty, and returned to Penzance Heliport to reunite him with his family.

At 9.40pm both lifeboats and the Coastguard Rescue teams were stood down and given permission to return to station by Falmouth Coastguard.


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A spokesperson for Penlee Lifeboat said, following the rescue on October 27: "A job well done by both lifeboat crews, the Coastguard Rescue Teams, Rescue 924 Helicopter and Falmouth Coastguard who co-ordinated the incident. Two young lives were saved this evening."

One of the hundreds of people on Facebook who commented praising the rescue teams, Jo Scott said: "We happened to watch this rescue from our balcony just along the cliff through binoculars. Wow, incredible manoeuvring (boats and helicopter) looked very dangerous - dark, rough sea and gusty winds. Very lucky boys. In awe of your talents and bravery."