Although never designated as a lifeboat during its six service at Falmouth (1974-1980), A-503 was used in the inshore role on 45 occasions. One of these was on 9 August 1975 to recover a stranded angler who had been cut off by the incoming tide on a rock at Pendennis Point.
Here is the account taken from the service return:
At 07.00 0n 9th August 1975, Mr F. Grocock was standing on a rock at Pendennis Point fishing. He was seen by the Coastguard, who realised that he was cut off by the tide, which still had an hour to rise before high water. Mr Grocock, not having realised that the tide tables are GMT not BST, said he was alright. However, the fast boarding boat was asked for and launched. It took him off the rock and landed him ashore dry-shod, when he resumed his fishing. in the case of the proceedings a Coastguard officer slipped and broke his left wrist. On return to moorings it was found that a casting on the port outdrive of A-503 was broken, although no contact had been made between the boat’s stern and the shore. No cause has been found for the fracture.
Honorary Secretary Captain Frank Edwards wrote in the remarks section of the return: A precautionary service only.
The crew on this service were John Mitchell (Helm) and R. Woodhouse.
The advice to anglers is to check the tide times before venturing out. The full RNLI advice on angling can be read here.
These photos were taken during the incident by Cornish Photonews and have the original captions attached.