Person stranded on yacht on rocks

Date: Friday 20 September 2019

Location: Trefusis Point, Falmouth Harbour

Weather: ESE 5, Rough Sea and Moderate Swell, Good Visibility, Partly Cloudy

Inshore lifeboat: (Launched 18:59 / Returned 19:27) – Jamie Connolly (Helmsman), Neil Capper, Jake Ingleby, Tamsin Mulcahy


At 18:52 Falmouth Coastguard requested that Falmouth Inshore Lifeboat be launched following concerns for a person stranded on a yacht aground on Trefusis Point in the Falmouth Harbour. Falmouth Coastguard Cliff Rescue Team were also tasked to assist.

The Inshore Lifeboat launched from her slipway at 18:59 and headed across the harbour arriving on scene at 19:03. They found the owner of the yacht was standing off in a Rigid Inflatable while one of his crew was stranded on board the yacht and was in significant danger as it was being pounded by the moderate swell. As the yacht was in the surf and surrounded by rocks it was decided that the safest means of rescue was for the Coastguard Team to carry out a rescue using their water rescue techniques. With the Inshore Lifeboat standing by to act as safety cover a member of the Coastguard Team carried out a tethered snatch rescue of the casualty from the yacht bringing him safely ashore. At 19:21 having confirmed with the owner that no further attempts would be made to recover the yacht the Inshore Lifeboat was released to return to its station.

The Inshore Lifeboat was recovered onto its slipway at 19:27 where the lifeboat was refuelled and made ready for service by 19:45.

The yacht had run aground earlier in the day when its engine had failed leaving it on a lee shore and unable to sail clear. The Inshore Lifeboat had attended but with the three occupants safely ashore and the vessel hard aground nothing further could be done. The owner had been attempting to re-float the yacht on the next tide when due to the prevailing conditions the attempt had failed leaving the person on the yacht in significant danger.