Reports of Red Flare

Date: Sunday 2 August 2020

Location: Truro and Tresillian Rivers

Weather: WNW 2, Calm Sea and No Swell, Good Visibility, Partly Cloudy

All weather lifeboat: (Launched 20:38 / Returned 22:57) – Dave Nicoll (Deputy 2nd Coxswain), Jonathan Hackwell, Neil Capper, Nick Head, Will Allen, Tamara Brookes, Andy Edwards

Inshore lifeboat: (Launched 20:30 / Returned 22:45) – Elliot Holman (Helmsman), Tom Bird, Jamie Wakefield, Lloyd Barron


At 20:24 Falmouth Coastguard requested that Falmouth Inshore Lifeboat be launched following reports of a Red Flare sighted in the area of Truro River. At 20:28 it was decided to also launch the All Weather Lifeboat to provide additional support including the use of its Y-Boat Inflatable. The Falmouth Coastguard Cliff Rescue Team was also tasked to assist.

The Inshore Lifeboat launched from her slipway at 20:30, with the All Weather Lifeboat leaving its pontoon berth at 20:38. Both lifeboats headed up the Carrick Roads with the Inshore Lifeboat commencing its search of the Truro River from Malpas at 20:57 while the All Weather Lifeboat commenced its search of the River Fal from Turnaware Point at 20:58.

The Inshore Lifeboat completed its initial search of the Truro River from Malpas to Boscawen Park then headed back down the river to Malpas to meet the All Weather Lifeboats Y-Boat inflatable which had been launched at  Tolverne. Both the Inshore Lifeboat and the Y-Boat then searched the Tresillain River up to St Clement’s where the search had to be curtailed due to the ebbing tide. The All Weather continued its search up the lower section of the Truro River working its way up to Woodbury Point before heading back down the river. With nothing being found at 22:05 the search was terminated. The Y-Boat was successfully recovered at 22:15 and both lifeboats headed back to station.

The Inshore Lifeboat was recovered onto its slipway at 22:45, with the All Weather Lifeboat also being back alongside its pontoon berth by 22:57, both lifeboats being refuelled and made ready for service by 23:15.

The Coastguard had received numerous reports of the Red Flare. Initial indications were that it had been fired from the upper reaches of the Truro River, but further information obtained by the Falmouth Coastguard Cliff Rescue Team indicated that the flare was more likely to have come from the Tresillain River.

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