Ferry broken down and adrift

Date: Sunday 25 April 2021

Location: Off Prince of Wales Pier, Falmouth Inner Harbour

Weather: E 6-7, Rough Sea and Slight Swell, Excellent Visibility, Clear Sky

All weather lifeboat: (Launched 12:22 / Returned 13:01) – Luke Wills (2nd Coxswain), Carl Beardmore, Dave Nicoll, Jonathan Hackwell, Jamie Connolly, Will Allen, Lloyd Barron

Inshore lifeboat: (Tasked 12:02 / Returned 13:00) – Neil Capper (Helmsman), Joe Amps, Cadan Harris


Falmouth Inshore Lifeboat was in Penryn River attending another incident when at 12:02 they were advised that a local ferry had issued a Pan broadcast reporting that the engine on the 10m ferry had failed and it was adrift with one person on board off the Prince of Wales Pier. The Inshore Lifeboat was tasked to assist.

The Inshore Lifeboat arrived on scene at 12:05 and found that the ferry had initially dropped its anchor, but this had dragged so the skipper had then managed to pick up a nearby mooring but was concerned that this was not suitable for that size of vessel. Given the prevailing conditions it was decided that the Inshore Lifeboat would standby the vessel while the All Weather Lifeboat was requested to launch to assist at 12:14.

The All Weather Lifeboat left its pontoon berth at 12:22 and headed up the harbour arriving on scene at 12:30. Due to the shallow water the Inshore Lifeboat transferred a tow line from the All Weather Lifeboat to the Ferry and at 12:35 the vessel was towed clear of the moorings and out into the main channel. The Ferry was then towed to Flushing where it was safely placed on its mooring with the assistance of the Inshore Lifeboat at 12:50, both lifeboats being released to return to station.

The All Weather Lifeboat was back alongside its pontoon berth at 13:01, with the Inshore Lifeboat being back on its slipway by 13:00. Both lifeboats were refuelled and made ready for service by 13:15.

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