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Three people in Codballs rescued by Penlee lifeboat near Land's End

By CMJacqui  |  Posted: January 14, 2013

Penlee lifeboat.

Penlee lifeboat.

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THREE people who sailed out of Penzance in a cabin cruiser with no lifejackets or flares and who lost their anchor when their engine failed were rescued by Penlee lifeboat crew on their first 'shout' of 2013.

'Codballs' was spotted by a watchkeeper at the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) half a mile off Gwennap Head, near Land's End, as it was drifting out to sea just after 10am on Sunday morning.

The watchkeeper called Falmouth Coastguard who alerted Penlee's all weather lifeboat crew to the stricken vessel, while they were out on their regular Sunday morning exercise in Mount's Bay.

Laurie Williamson, press and publicity co-ordinator for the NCI at Gwennap Head said: "It looked like the crew were trying to start the engine but there seemed to be a problem.

"The crew waved to the watchkeeper who acknowledged them and phoned the coastguard. They were drifting out to sea. The tide was taking them off towards the Scillies.

"That is exactly what the NCI was set up for - to take a local difficulty and prevent it from becoming a crisis or a tragedy."

Penlee coxswain Patch Harvey said the 17ft boat had suffered engine failure near Porthcurno. The three crew members threw out an anchor, but had little rope so it went over the side and they began to drift with the tide, he said.

"They didn't have any lifejackets," he said. "They launched the boat from Penzance at the top of the Spring tides in probably the worst place. They had no local knowledge and no safety equipment."

The all weather lifeboat reached the cabin cruiser just after 10.30am and took the crew onto the lifeboat, towing the boat back to Newlyn, where it arrived at around 1pm.

Mr Harvey said the three crew members were then given a talking to by the Penzance Coastguard Rescue Team about safety equipment.

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  • mackerel_boy  |  January 15 2013, 7:12AM

    'josdave', charging for the RNLI service is something we never want to do (im on a crew). If we do, there is a chance that someone in trouble will decide not to ask for help. I'd much rather give up my time to pick up a casualty than a body! All we can do is advise and hope that the next time the person ventures out to sea, they will have learnt their lesson and have adequate safety equipment.

    |   3
  • PaddyTrembath  |  January 14 2013, 2:58PM

    cheekyman_jr, the trouble is that the t + w + a + t from the middle of the word is considered by some to be offensive, and as such should be removed from the English language. It is quite amusing how many times the "swear filter" kicks in and ****** out part of a word.

    |   1
  • josdave  |  January 14 2013, 2:34PM

    People who take to sea without the necessasry safety precautions and have to be rescued should be charged for that service. A talking to does not go far enough.

    |   1
  • cheekyman_jr  |  January 14 2013, 11:09AM

    Dear TIC, Is it possible to spell "Coas****ch" without the ****? As far as I'm aware, "Coas****ch" isn't a swearword

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