Sennen and Penlee lifeboats were launched after an upturned vessel was spotted near Land's End.
Sennen and Penlee lifeboats were deployed on Tuesday 18 October at 10.14am to join the search for possible people in the water six miles west of Land’s End.
A passing merchant ship, the MV Zeeland, had spotted and reported an upturned vessel to HM Coastguard at Falmouth.
The all-weather lifeboat Ivan Ellen immediately launched from Newlyn and arrived at the location where they joined the Sennen Cove lifeboat City of London III and the HM Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter 924.
Just over an hour later the Coastguard helicopter Rescue 924 located the upturned vessel about three nautical miles off its first reported position. The Sennen lifeboat crew were able to confirm that the craft in trouble had been in the water for some time and realised that there was little chance of anyone being onboard or in the water.
The crew of the Sennen Cove lifeboat braved the difficult sea conditions and managed to get a tow attached to the upturned vessel. Penlee lifeboat Ivan Ellen then stepped in to tow the boat back to Newlyn.
It took the lifeboat only minutes to realise that the 6m fibre glass pleasure craft was going in danger of breaking up at sea.
Coxswain Patch Harvey brought the upturned vessel alongside the Ivan Ellen and the lifeboat’s powerful crane was used to winch it onboard. It was then taken back to Newlyn and identified as a vessel called Iris. HM Coastguards at Falmouth are still investigating the origins of this vessel.
RNLI Coxswain Patch Harvey commented, ‘This was team work at its very best in difficult sea conditions. HM Coastguard at Falmouth made exactly the right call in launching both lifeboats and tasking the helicopter to join the search. Speed is of the essence in these circumstances – it could easily have been one of our local fishing vessels and the chance of any survival would only have been increased with the speed and reaction of both services. A job well done by all those involved’.
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