Report of person on upturned vessel

Date: Tuesday 14 July 2020

Location: Off the mouth of the Helford

Weather: NW 5, Slight Sea and Swell, Good, Overcast

Inshore lifeboat: (Launched 14:22 / Returned 15:45) – Jamie Wakefield (Helmsman), Tom Bird, Tamara Brookes, Lloyd Barron


At 14:16 Falmouth Coastguard requested that Falmouth Inshore Lifeboat be launched following a report from the Nare Head NCI Lookout reporting a person on an upturned vessel at the mouth of the Helford. The Porthoustock Coastguard Cliff Rescue Team were also tasked to assist.

The Inshore Lifeboat launched from her slipway at 14:22 and having rounded Pendennis Point headed across Falmouth Bay, arriving off the mouth of the Helford River at 14:33. One adult and four children were located on the shoreline with a kayak while a second adult was located on a nearby rigid inflatable, along with an open canoe. Two volunteer lifeboat crew were dropped ashore to check on the casualties on the shoreline while the other casualty was taken onboard the Inshore Lifeboat along with their canoe.  The four children were then transferred from the shore to the Inshore Lifeboat using the Open Canoe. The children remained on the Inshore Lifeboat while it towed the Open Canoe back into Gillan, while the adults followed on in their kayak. Once they were all safely ashore in Gillan Creek at 15:24 the Inshore Lifeboat was then released to return to its station.

The Inshore Lifeboat was recovered onto its slipway at 15:45 where the lifeboat was refuelled and made ready for service by 16:15.

The family members had been exploring the waters off Gillan when their Canadian style open canoe had capsized throwing one adult and four of the children into the water. The adult on the kayak helped the children ashore while the other adult remained with the upturned canoe and was assisted by a passing rigid inflatable.

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