Distress Alert from Merchant Vessel Summer Flower

Tuesday 15th September

Location: King Harry Reach, River Fal

Weather: Variable 1, Calm Sea and No Swell, Good Visibility, Sunny

Inshore lifeboat (Launched 18:16 / Returned 19:15) – Diane Bush (Helmsman), Luke Wills, Josh Beardmore

All-weather lifeboat (Launched 18:20 / Returned 19:20) – John Blakeston (Coxswain), Tom Bird, Andy Jenkin, Claire Angove, Adam West, Josh Blakeston


At 18:08 Falmouth Coastguard requested that Falmouth All Weather and Inshore Lifeboats be launched following receipt of a VHF Distress Alert from the 169m Merchant Vessel Summer Flower (12,659 Gross Tonnage) which was moored in the King Harry Reach in the River Fal.

The Inshore Lifeboat launched from her slipway at 18:16 followed shortly afterwards by the All Weather Lifeboat which left its pontoon berth at 18:20. Both lifeboats headed up the Carrick Roads and having rounded Turnaware Point into the River Fal. The Inshore Lifeboat arrived on scene at the deep water moorings in the King Harry Reach at 18:26. The Truro Harbour Patrol was already on scene and had placed a harbour official on board the vessel. A crew member from the Inshore Lifeboat was also placed on board the vessel and a role call was carried out to ensure all the vessels crew were accounted for. The All Weather Lifeboat arrived on scene at 18:43 and stood by while efforts were then made to establish the cause of the Distress Alert. At 18:55 both lifeboats were released to return to their station.

The Inshore Lifeboat was recovered onto its slipway at 19:15, with the All Weather Lifeboat back alongside its pontoon berth by 19:20, both lifeboats being refuelled and ready for service by 19:30.

The Bahamas registered refrigerated cargo ship Summer Flower was built in1984 and is currently laid up on the deep water moorings of the King Harry Reach. The cause of the Distress Alert could not be confirmed but may have been due to faulty equipment.