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Busy week for crews with nine call-outs

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: September 06, 2012

  • The angler, rescued near Pendeen Lighthouse on Saturday evening. credit: Peter Hughes www.hobgobgraphics.com

  • The angler, rescued near Pendeen Lighthouse on Saturday evening. Peter Hughes www.hobgobgraphics.com

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WEST Cornwall lifeboat crews took part in nine rescue operations last week in what is thought to be the busiest seven days in recent years.

The Penlee crew took part in eight rescues between Sunday, August 26, and Saturday, September 1, including one where two men were pulled from the water at Penzance Harbour after a dinghy had capsized.

One man, who was arrested by a policeman waiting on the shoreline for being drunk and disorderly, was alleged to have hurled abuse at the crew rescuing him.

The swell in incidents brings the Newlyn-based RNLI crew's total to 48 – just short of their yearly average of 50. Their highest figure for one year was 68 in 2010.

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It runs alongside a year in which the crew at Sennen Cove have dealt with sudden spates of rescues, firstly at Porthcurno in Easter and then in early July, where they attended three incidents in six days.

On Saturday evening the crew rescued an angler who became trapped on a rocky outcrop near Pendeen lighthouse.

The incident was caught on camera by Hob Gob Graphics' designer Peter Hughes from Pendeen.

Patrick Harvey, Penlee lifeboat coxswain, said: "I don't ever remember having a week that busy, we've had two or three in a day but I don't remember getting that many in a week. I don't know if there's a specific reason behind it. You just don't know when or where you are going to be called out. We have had 12 rescues in August, but nine of them were in a week."

The eight incidents attended by Penlee lifeboat began on August 26, when they were called to assist a five-metre rib at 11.30am near Gear Pole, while en route to Porthleven Lifeboat Day.

The crew were then tasked to another rescue the same afternoon, when a 15ft boat broke down a mile south of Penzance Harbour.

Other rescues last week, included:

A swimmer, whose friends had become concerned after they lost sight of him on August 27 as he swam between Mousehole and St Michael's Mount. He was escorted to shore.

Two surfers who got into difficulty at Polurrian Cove near Mullion on August 28. Both were picked up by Culdrose 193.

A 12ft yacht which had got into difficulty a mile south east off Newlyn on August 30. The boat was towed back in to Newlyn Harbour.

A 20ft fishing boat was towed back to Newlyn after it broke down eight miles away.

The incident at Penzance Harbour, in which two men were pulled from the water after the dinghy they were in capsized on August 31. The arrested man, Joshua Crichton, 22, from Penzance, is to appear in court on September 20.

A woman who had hit her head after falling from a yacht near Penzance Harbour.

Sennen Cove rescued the stranded angler at 7.30pm on Saturday evening by pulling near the rock with an ILB allowing the fishermen to jump to safety.

Sennen Cove coxswain Terry George said afterwards: "Fortunately we have gone through the summer without any fatalities. A woman lost her life in Bude this week, it's so easy.

"The incidents at Porthcurno were fairly serious but fortunately and touch wood it's been successful.

"What can you say about the volunteers, they just turn up and go. And we have to acknowledge employers, not having their employee turn up must be inconvenient."

Mr Harvey said the dedication of volunteers was really underlined during periods such as last week. He added: "Some of them (the volunteers) are fishermen, and when they are volunteering they are not working. They are dedicated to the lifeboat. You don't get that anywhere else."

Sennen and St Ives lifeboats were called to the rescue of a lugger in Morvah Bay, near Pendeen yesterday at 8.45am, after her sails had torn. The Ibis was being towed in to safety in Mount's Bay as The Cornishman went to press.

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