Reports of multiple people caught in rip current

Date: Thursday 20 August 2020

Location: Maenporth Beach

Weather: S 6-7, Rough Sea and Moderate Swell, Fair Visibility, Partly Cloudy

Inshore lifeboat: (Launched 15:24/ Returned 16:53) – Jamie Wakefield, (Helmsman), Tom Bird, Jack Williams, James Murray


At 15:19 Falmouth Coastguard requested that Falmouth Inshore Lifeboat be launched following reports of multiple people being caught in the rip current at Maenporth Beach. Falmouth and Porthoustock Coastguard Rescue Teams were also tasked to assist.

The Inshore Lifeboat launched from her slipway at 15:24 and having rounded Pendennis Point made best speed in the rough conditions arriving on scene off Maenporth Beach at 15:35. It was soon established that all those involved had been assisted ashore by a member of the public on a kayak. Once the coastguard team were happy with the situation at 15:45 the Inshore Lifeboat was released to return to its station.

As the Inshore Lifeboat was passing the docks at 15:54 and heading back into the harbour there were reports of more people in difficulty at Maenporth, so the Inshore Lifeboat was requested to return to the scene arriving back at 16:01. The additional casualties had been assisted ashore by a Coastguard Rescue Swimmer, but the Inshore Lifeboat was requested to remain on scene while the Coastguard ensured no one else got into difficulty. At 16:40 the Inshore Lifeboat was again released to return to its station.

The Inshore Lifeboat was recovered onto its slipway at 16:53 where the lifeboat was refuelled and made ready for service by 17:14.

In total eleven people were assisted, eight by an off duty member of the North Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team on his kayak and a further three were brought ashore by the Coastguard Rescue Swimmer. Maenporth Beach does not have a lifeguard service and has significant rip currents when there are strong south or easterly conditions.

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