Dinghy with rudder failure on a lee shore

Date: Sunday 21 June 2020

Location: Carrick Roads between St Mawes and St Just

Weather: W 4-5, Slight Sea and No Swell, Excellent Visibility, Partly Cloudy

Inshore lifeboat: (Launched 18:34 / Returned 19:29) – Elliot Holman (Helmsman), Tom Bird, Tamara Brookes, Chris Simpson


At 18:26 Falmouth Coastguard requested that Falmouth Inshore Lifeboat be launched following a 999 call from the occupants of a 4.3m sailing dinghy which had suffered rudder failure and was being blown towards the shoreline in the Carrick Roads between St Mawes and St Just.

The Inshore Lifeboat launched from her slipway at 18:34 and headed up the Carrick Roads arriving on scene at 18:40. The occupants of the dinghy had managed to secure themselves to one of the ski markers so a tow line was passed to the dinghy and it was taken back to the Penryn River where it was safely place on the slipway at Trevissome at 19:16, the Inshore Lifeboat being released to return to its station.

The Inshore Lifeboat was recovered onto its slipway at 19:29 where the lifeboat was refuelled and made ready for service by 19:45.

The rudder had failed on the dinghy and they had been unable to make headway against the moderate Westerly winds as they did not have an auxiliary outboard. Suitable safety advice was given to the casualties in respect to having lifejackets and a handheld radio.