St Agnes Men ‘Lucky To Be Alive’

St Mary's Lifeboat Station

St Mary’s Lifeboat Station

Two St Agnes residents are lucky to be alive today, according to Falmouth Coastguard.

The men were taken to St Mary’s Hospital following an overnight rescue by the islands’ lifeboat. The relief vessel, the Duke of Kent, was launched at 1.40am this morning to search for an orange Humber 5.3m RIB with two people on board, who had lost their bearings.

The volunteer crew, commanded by Peter Hicks, were responding to the call for assistance from a mobile phone to Falmouth Coastguard. The two men were reported to be returning to St Agnes after a night out on St Mary’s.

Coastguard Watch officer Martin Bidmead say they had no navigational equipment and the incident could easily have lead to tragedy.

The weather conditions were relatively poor, with a 25knot SSW wind and fog that reduced visibility to around 500m.

The lifeboat crew fired off several white flares in order to locate the rib. Lifeboat Operations Manager, Steve Hicks, who was listening to the unfolding events in the boathouse, decided to launch his vessel Sea Horse to join in the search, accompanied by Robert Francis, Chris Jenkins and Joe Thomas.

Falmouth Coastguard then asked the Police to try to identify the position of the mobile phone signal from the RIB but only approximate details were obtained.

At 3.45am the lifeboat crew reported that the visibility was improving and continued the search to the south west of Samson. They came alongside the vessel 5 minutes later.

The two casualties, who were described as very cold and wet, were returned to St Mary’s at 4.15am, where they were taken to St Mary’s hospital.

It was the second lifeboat action of the night. The crew also found a yacht anchored in a precarious position to the west of Bryher, near Samson.

They discovered that the solo female sailor had travelled from France. Her yacht was towed into the safety of St Mary’s harbour.