Person in the water

Date: Tuesday 21 January 2020

Location: Falmouth Inner Harbour

Weather: NW 1, Calm Sea and No Swell, Excellent Visibility, Clear Sky

All Weather Lifeboat: (Launched 21:28 / Returned 22:17) – Jonathon Blakeston (Coxswain), Dave Nicoll, Tom Bird, Jonathan Hackwell, Sandy Procter, Adam West, Andy Edwards

Inshore Lifeboat: (Launched 19:55 / Returned 22:25) – Neil Capper (Helmsman), Tamara Brookes, Chris Simpson, Caden Harris

Boarding Boat: (Launched 20:15 / Returned 22:25) – Elliot Holman (Helmsman), Tamsin Mulcahy


At 19:48 Falmouth Coastguard requested that Falmouth Inshore Lifeboat be launched following a report of a punt adrift off Port Pendennis Marina in Falmouth Inner Harbour. The boat was showing signs of recent occupation. The Falmouth Coastguard Rescue Team was also tasked to assist with the search.

The Inshore Lifeboat launched from her slipway at 19:55 and headed to Port Pendennis Marina. Having inspected the punt, the Inshore Lifeboat commenced a search of the Inner Harbour at 19:59 while the Coastguard teams searched the shoreline.

At 20:08 the Inshore Lifeboat requested that the stations boarding boat be launched to assist with the search. The Boarding Boat launched from its berth at 20:15 and joined the search at 20:18.

After an hour of searching and with nothing being found the decision was made to extend the search to cover the docks and entrance to the harbour so the All Weather Lifeboat and the Coastguard Helicopter were requested at 21:18. The All Weather Lifeboat left its pontoon berth at 21:28 and commenced its search of the moorings between Trefusis Point and Flushing while the Helicopter searched the harbour entrance using its FLIR camera. Once the lifeboats had completed their search of the harbour, they were requested to carry out a search of the dock’s wharfs.

With nothing being found the Coastguard terminated the search, releasing the All Weather Lifeboat at 22:11 and the Inshore Lifeboat and Boarding Boat at 22:20 to return to their station.

The All Weather Lifeboat was back alongside its pontoon berth at 22:17, the Boarding Boat was back on its berth at 22:25 and the Inshore Lifeboat was recovered onto its slipway by 22:25. All boats were refuelled and made ready for service by 22:40.

The initial indications were that the punt had recently been occupied as its engine appeared to be warm and its oars were rigged but despite an extensive search no sign of its occupant was found, and no one was reported missing.

See related video of this launch here.

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