DSC Distress Alert

Date: Wednesday 28 October 2020

Location: Falmouth Harbour, Penryn River and Carrick Roads

Weather: W 4, Slight Sea and Swell, Fair Visibility, Overcast with Rain

All weather lifeboat: (Launched 16:01 / Returned 16:58) – Jonathon Blakeston (Coxswain), Carl Beardmore, Dave Nicoll, Sandy Procter, Adam West, Will Allen, Tamsin Mulcahy

Inshore lifeboat: (Launched 15:59 / Returned 16:50) – James Wakefield (Helmsman), Tom Bird, Tamara Brookes, Lloyd Barron


At 15:39 Falmouth Coastguard requested that the Falmouth lifeboat crew be brought to immediate readiness following the receipt of a VHF DSC distress alert which was believed to have come from a handheld radio. Following further enquiries at 15:55 Falmouth Coastguard requested that both the All Weather and Inshore Lifeboats be launched to carry out a search of Falmouth Harbour, Penryn River and the Carrick Roads.

The Inshore Lifeboat launched from her slipway at 15:59 with the All Weather Lifeboat leaving its pontoon berth at 16:01. The Lifeboats were initially tasked with searching the Falmouth Inner Harbour and Penryn River. At 16:34 All Weather Lifeboat headed out to commence a search of the Carrick Roads while the Inshore Lifeboat continued its search of the River and Harbour. At 16:43 it was confirmed that the source of DSC Alert had been located ashore so both lifeboats were released to their station.

The Inshore Lifeboat was back on its slipway by 16:50 while the All Weather Lifeboat was back alongside its pontoon berth at 16:58. Both lifeboats were refuelled and made ready for service by 17:10.

The DSC alert had been received on the coastguards Falmouth VHF Ariel but did not include a verbal distress message, so the nature and location of the distress was unknown. The source was confirmed to have been due to an equipment malfunction.

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