Search for missing swimmer

Date: Saturday 15 August 2020

Location: Off Pennance Point, Falmouth Bay

Weather: SW 3, Slight Sea and No Swell, Excellent Visibility, Sunny Periods

All weather lifeboat: (Launched 11:02 / Returned 11:07) – Luke Wills (2nd Coxswain), Dave Nicoll, Tom Bird, Adam West, Will Allen, Andy Edwards, Chris Simpson, Jemima Henstridge-Blows

Inshore lifeboat: (Launched 10:43 / Returned 11:24) – Jamie Wakefield (Helmsman), Joe Amps, Jack Williams, James Murray


At 10:33 Falmouth Coastguard requested that Falmouth Inshore Lifeboat be launched following a report of a missing swimmer between Swanpool and Pennance Point. The Falmouth Coastguard Cliff Rescue Team was also tasked to assist.

The Inshore Lifeboat launched from her slipway at 10:43 and having rounded Pendennis Point headed across the bay arriving on scene at Swanpool at 10:48 and commenced a search from Swanpool Beach to Pennance Point. At 10:54 the first informant was located on a kayak who advised that the swimmer was last seen heading out to sea so the Inshore Lifeboat immediately requested the launch of the All Weather Lifeboat to assist in the search. The Inshore Lifeboat continued its search to Pennance Point and then started an expanding square search off Pennance Point.

The All Weather Lifeboat was paged at 10:55 and left its pontoon berth at 11:02. At 11:04 it was confirmed that the missing swimmer had been located by the Coastguard Team at Maenporth Beach and was safe and well so both lifeboats were stood down to return to their station.

The All Weather Lifeboat was back alongside its pontoon berth at 11:07 and was made ready for service by 11:15. The Inshore Lifeboat left the scene at 11:09 and was back on its slipway by 11:24 where it was refuelled and made ready for service by 11:55.

The swimmer who was wearing a brightly coloured swim cap and towing a swim buoy was being monitored from the shore by one of their family. When they were having difficulty spotting the swimmer the family member hired a Kayak to follow them but then lost sight of the swimmer off Pennance Point so wisely contacted the emergency services using a mobile phone to raise the alarm. The Inshore Lifeboat had been assisted in its initial search by a Rigid Inflatable from the Elemental Watersports Centre and also one of the lifeboat crew who was afloat in their own boat.

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