Hovercraft in difficulties

Date: Friday 1 September 2017

Location: Off St Just, Carrick Roads

Weather: N 5, Slight Sea and Swell, Good Visibility, Sunny Periods

Inshore lifeboat: (Launched 13:02 / Returned 13:58) – Sandy Procter (Helmsman), Tom Bird, Jamie Wakefield


At 12:55 Falmouth Coastguard requested the launch of Falmouth Inshore Lifeboat following a 999 call reporting a hovercraft with two persons on board in difficulties and reported to be sinking off the Ski Beach near St Just in the Carrick Roads.

The Inshore Lifeboat launched from her slipway at 13:02 and arrived on scene at 13:07. It was found that the vessel Chaser had already taken one person off the hovercraft and taken it in tow. The casualty was transferred to the Inshore Lifeboat which also took over the tow, taking the hovercraft to the slipway in Mylor Harbour where its occupants and the hovercraft were safely put ashore at 13:45, the Inshore Lifeboat being released to return to its station.

The Inshore Lifeboat was recovered onto its slipway at 13:58 where the lifeboat was refuelled and made ready for service by 14:15.

The hovercraft had been operating in the Carrick Roads when it had got into difficulty, with its propeller blade failing and the craft taking on water. The hovercraft did not tow easily and tended to try and nose dive but the crew managed to get it back ashore safely along with its two crew.