The Portreath Coastguard Rescue Team started a search yesterday evening (Wednesday) as the tide ebbed in an attempt to find out the origin of the 20 person inflatable life raft that had drifted into Fisherman’s Cove near Hell’s Mouth, earlier in the day.

The life raft was spotted by a holiday maker on the top of North Cliffs, who had telephoned the Coastguard to report what he at first thought was a small fishing boat in difficulties.

After both the St Ives all weather and inshore lifeboats made repeated attempts to get close to the inflatable raft that was being dashed on the rocks by the wind and heavy swells, it was decided that it would be prudent to wait until the tide had dropped to identify the origin of the life saving device.

In the pouring rain, the team made their way to the bottom of the cliffs and soon located the deflated and empty life raft in a cave just to the west of the cove. There were no casualties or any equipment found in or near the raft.

Having recorded its servicing history and serial numbers, this information was passed to the Coastguard Operations Centre at Falmouth, who are now attempting to trace its origin.