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St Agnes and St Ives RNLI Lifeboats rescue a swimmer in difficulty at Porthtowan

Lifeboats News Release

The St Agnes and St Ives RNLI Lifeboats were requested to launch following a report of a female swimmer drifting out to sea from Porthtowan.

The St. Agnes and St Ives Lifeboats were paged at 20.47 hours on 23rd July 2019, to Porthtowan following a report that a female swimmer was in difficulty at sea.

The Lifeboat proceeded with Helm, Gavin Forehead and Crew, Paul Kimberley and Tom Forehead, towards Porthtowan. The St Ives RNLI All Weather Lifeboat and volunteer crew, St. Agnes Coastguard Search and Rescue Team were also tasked and proceeded to the area.

On route to the scene, a further update came in to say that the swimmer was being held up in the water by two local surfers, but they were all drifting eastwards along the coast.

On arrival, the St. Agnes Lifeboat located the female casualty, with the surfers and pulled her onboard the lifeboat.

The 23 year old casualty was very distressed, but physically unharmed, so the Lifeboat Crew put her in a survivor’s lifejacket and performed Casualty Care. As they were undertaking this, she told the Crew that she was with a 22 year old male in the sea, who she thought has been washed over towards the rocks in the large surf and she did not know if he was safe. The Crew radioed to the St. Agnes Coastguard Team, who were on Porthtowan Beach, to ask them if they could check the area for anyone who had recently come ashore. They immediately confirmed that they were with the male we were concerned about and he was safely ashore.

The St Ives RNLI Lifeboat arrived on scene and watched over the St. Agnes Lifeboat as it negotiated the heavy surf in to the beach, and they acted as a communications portal support between the St. Agnes Lifeboat and the MRCC Falmouth, along with the St. Agnes Coastguard Team.

The St. Agnes Lifeboat safely negotiated the heavy surf and landed on the beach, where they were met by the St. Agnes Coastguard Team and the female was re-united with her male friend.

The Lifeboat Crew handed the female into the care of the Coastguard Team and further assisted the male casualty, who had sustained cuts to his foot as he had been washed over the rocks as he attempted to get back to the beach.

The Lifeboats left scene at 21.30.

At 21.34 the St Ives RNLI Lifeboat, was re-tasked to assist Police with an incident developing at Hells Mouth, and the St. Agnes RNLI Lifeboat was also re-tasked to the same incident a few minutes later.

St Ives lifeboat arrived on scene and were then immediately stood down, and St. Agnes Lifeboat was also stood down prior to arrival – the police had located the potential casualty and were in control of the scene.

The St Ives Lifeboat then provided refreshments to the crew of St. Agnes Lifeboat, and escorted them back to Trevuanance Cove. St Ives Lifeboat then headed back to station.

The St. Agnes RNLI Lifeboat was re-housed and ready for service at 2245hrs and St Ives at 22.54.

For further information and Safety Advice if you are considering heading for the coast, please see the RNLI Advise:

https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Niki Brooks, St Ives RNLI volunteer Lifeboat press officer on nikibrooks7@googlemail.com or 07384 756407 or Paul Kimberley, St Agnes RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07867160594 or paul_kimberley@rnli.org.uk or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

RNLI online

For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,200 lives.

Martin Ashmore

St.Agnes Lifeboat at Porthtowan Beach

Johnny Hardey

Porthtowan beach incident unfolding

Martin Ashmore

Onboard St.Ives Lifeboat

Jake Martin

Porthtowan from the stern of the St Ives lifeboat

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.