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Winter 2012

RNLI Events this winter Remember the RNLI

Braving the storm Volunteers courage

RNLI - the charity that saves lives at sea

Issue 2


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e 3 16 on ontent ennen theredd the ove to . You eed to e filmtion as filming are

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n Port Issac Medal winners

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n Flooding RNLI in action

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n Exhibition Search and rescue

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n Awards South West vounteers

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n Legacy Remember the RNLI

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n Sennen Cove

New dry suits

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n Cooking Chefs go head to head

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n On track Fundraising single

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n SOS day Plan your event

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n Bravery Lifeguards honoured

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n Operations A busy time

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n Challenge RNLI rescues

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n Olympics Rower Helen Glover

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n What’s On Winter events

Cover picture: Matthew Main/crew volunteer at Port Issac RNLI

What a team - and that includes you! WINTER is suddenly with us but rather than get gloomy about dark nights and snow, we’re celebrating the arrival of Edition 2 of the Cornwall RNLI magazine, thanks to Packet Newspapers who have once again helped us to produce this at no cost to our charity. We were delighted to receive a wide range of positive comments about our first edition and hope you’ll enjoy more news from the RNLI, including some dates for your diaries. So what was the summer like for the RNLI in the South West? Well a quick snapshot of business for our lifeboat crew volunteers in June, July and August showed that the teams at our 35 lifeboat stations in the South West launched 653 times, a slight rise on last year’s total of 627. Despite the poor weather, the RNLI volunteers in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and the Channel Islands were involved in a wide range of activities from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and Olympics, to dramatic rescues in challenging conditions. Nationally, the figures were down two per cent compared to 2011, probably due to rainy weather at the beginning of the summer. In the South West the unseasonable weather led to some extremely difficult rescue operations. Cornwall’s 14 lifeboat stations took to the sea to help people 207 times with the busiest stations in Cornwall being Falmouth (45 launches), Penlee with 24 emergency call outs and Newquay who responded to 23 requests to launch. The furthest distance travelled by a lifeboat in a single shout was carried out by St Mary’s lifeboat, from the Isles of Scilly, which launched to rescue a catamaran, in difficulty 80 nautical miles offshore, and tow it back to harbour. Once again the figures show that our volunteer crews are committed and brave individuals, on standby to save lives at sea come rain or shine even during the summer when they deserve their own time off to be with their families. I’m sure you will join me in thanking them for their continuing dedication, and their families for their invaluable support.

Advertising Lloyd Saunders telephone: 01326 213306 e-mail: lloyd.saunders@packetseries.co.uk Design & page layout Packet Newspapers telephone: 01326 213333

n Bernice Putt, volunteer RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer at The Lizard with Tamsin Thomas, RNLI Public Relations Manager for the South West As the RNLI’s public relations manager for the South West, I have the pleasure of working with a team of volunteer lifeboat press officers who are based at the stations. Today I would like to introduce Bernice Putt from The Lizard who has kindly joined me to put the content for this magazine together. . . The first edition of this publication was a really great read and very informative, and I am privileged to have been asked by Tamsin to help put together edition two. Through my position at the lifeboat station I see daily the commitment the volunteers have, but my motivation comes from helping the operational crews gain the recognition they deserve for spending their time preparing and responding to lifesaving incidents. They deserve all the thanks they get when dragging themselves from their beds to react to an incident in the middle of the night or motivating themselves to launch on exercise in the middle of winter, when most people would be sat at home watching TV with a cup of hot chocolate. As you will read later in this issue, it is also good to see the fundraising and lifeboat station volunteers gain recognition for their commitment. Without these dedicated teams and

fax: 01326 212084 e-mail: editorial@packetseries.co.uk Newsquest Cornwall, Falmouth Business Park, Bickland Water Road, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 4SZ The opinions expressed by the RNLI are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher.

individuals the lifeboat volunteers and the lifeguards would not have the equipment required to be able to save lives at sea. It takes several months of planning to put on the fundraising events that are held all year round in Cornwall. I have been amazed at just how many volunteers have given a lifetime of commitment to stations, guilds and branches. It is also commendable to see how many fundraising teams work inland and do not have an operational lifeboat station close-by to help provide their motivation. I must also thank our lifeboat/lifeguard supporters. No event can be a success without them making the effort to come along in all winds and weather to sample the cakes, look round the stations and to part with hardearned cash. Finally I would like to thank all the volunteer RNLI crews, fundraisers and station personnel who have worked really hard throughout the summer, as it has enabled us to write about the RNLI in this issue. I hope you enjoy reading all about our Cornish volunteers exploits. Thank you. To find out more about the RNLI visit our website at www.rnli.org.uk. To contact us about this magazine please feel free to drop us a line at feedback@rnli.org.uk

Published by the RNLI. Produced by Newsquest Cornwall (part of the Gannett Group) from its office at Falmouth Business Park, Bickland Water Road, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 4SZ. Printed at Newsquest Print Centre, Fleet House, Hampshire Road, Weymouth, DT4 9XD. 3


Volunteers showed outstanding courage THREE volunteer crew members from Port Isaac Lifeboat Station have each been awarded one of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s highest accolades for their courage, leadership and initiative in rough and dangerous sea conditions beneath the cliffs of the north Cornwall coast in April. Helmsman Damien Bolton, along with crew members Nicola-Jane Bradbury and Matthew Main, launched the inshore lifeboat in force 4 to 5 winds to rescue two people who had been swept into rough water very close to the cliffs. The two casualties were within an arc of semi-submerged rocks and were being tumbled in the confused and breaking, threemetre waves, making any rescue extremely challenging. Operating at the extreme limits of the lifeboat’s capabilities, Damien used great seamanship skills to manoeuvre the vessel towards the two men, who were struggling to stay above the crashing surf. The crew managed to pull one of the men to safety. The other was recovered to the lifeboat, but, tragically, did not survive. For their outstanding courage and bravery in the face of great danger, Damien has been awarded the RNLI’s Silver Medal for Gallantry and Nicola-Jane and Matthew have each been awarded the charity’s Bronze Medal for Gallantry. Michael Vlasto, RNLI operations director, said: “This was a service carried out in very difficult conditions with confused and breaking seas very close to a dangerous lee shore, with semisubmerged rocks and floating rope in the water. “Helmsman Damien Bolton and his two crew, Nicola-Jane Bradbury and Matthew Main, were aware of the risk they were exposing themselves to, but felt that the potential of saving a life outweighed that risk. Although this rescue was also tinged with tragedy, it is a testament to their bravery, skill and tenacity that one of the men survived and made a full recovery.” Paul Sleeman, who survived the incident, and the rest of his family, said: “Paul, Linda, Mark, Jenna, Emma and the rest of the family of the late Peter Sleeman would like to pass on their sincere congratulations to Damien, Nicki and Matt, three truly amazing people on their very worthy awards. Without their skills, bravery and determination Paul wouldn’t be here today. His life 4

n Praised for their courage, leadership and initiative are RNLI helmsman Damien Bolton and lifeboat crew members Matthew Main and Nicola-Jane Bradbury was saved with seconds to spare. Also, the huge effort they went to, to recover Pete which enabled us to lay him to rest, something that the whole family will always be grateful for. “The family are also grateful for the continuous help and support during this tragic and difficult time from all at Port Isaac RNLI. Some wonderful, strong, long-term relationships have been made. “Port Isaac RNLI now holds a very special place in all our hearts.” The Port Isaac inshore lifeboat was launched on Sunday, April 8, just after 8.25am following the receipt of reports that two people were in the water at Tregardock. On board the D class lifeboat Copeland Bell were volunteer helmsman Damien Bolton and crew members Nicola-Jane Bradbury and Matthew Main. The wind was west-southwest

force 4 to 5, and with high tide approaching and the wind blowing onshore, the conditions at the cliffs where the two men had been swept into the water were challenging. When the lifeboat crew arrived on scene at 8.36am, they found a three-metre dumping sea breaking onto the cliff face, exacerbated by waves reflecting off the cliff, which created a rough and confused sea close inshore. The coastguard informed the volunteers that the two casualties were in the water at an area called The Steps and that an RAF rescue helicopter had been tasked and was 11 minutes away. Damien headed to the area and spotted two people in the water very close to the cliffs, being tumbled in the surf. While he was assessing the situation, one of the casualties was turned by a wave and, on seeing

the lifeboat, shouted for help and raised an arm before disappearing below the surface again. Damien decided to use a manoeuvre called veering down – a technique the crew practice regularly – in which the crew pay out the anchor cable whilst applying astern power, manoeuvring the lifeboat backwards under control towards the casualty. By this means the crew can use the anchor to help control the position of the lifeboat when working near a dangerous lee shore. Damien positioned the lifeboat about 70 metres from the casualty so that Matthew could drop the anchor and then slack the anchor warp while Nicola-Jane kept a lookout for large waves and operated the radio. Damien helmed the lifeboat


n Members of the Port Isaac RNLI receive a cheque for £450 from the St Teath Carnival Committee along with the Sleeman family of Michaelstow. Pictured are Paul Sleeman, Emma Braunton, Linda Sleeman, Penny Harris, Chris Wheeler, Faye Archell, Nicky Halford (St Teath Carnival Committee), Sandy Bulgin, Bob Bulgin (Port Isaac RNLI chairman), John Brown, Damien Bolton (helmsman and training officer), Nicki Bradbury (crew member), Del Allerton Baldwin (helmsman), Sheryl Webster and Tracy Kitto (St Teath Carnival Committee)

Picture: ADRIAN JASPER

safely over two sets of three-metre waves as he brought it within three metres of the cliff face and a couple of metres from the casualties. One was holding onto the other and an orange rope appeared to be tangled around them. Concerned that the rope may get caught around the lifeboat’s propeller if he took the lifeboat closer, Damien called for the men to swim to the boat. First wrapping the line around his fellow casualty, one of the men made his way to the lifeboat where Nicola-Jane and Damien attempted to pull him aboard. Matthew warned that a large wave was approaching, which then broke over the lifeboat, filling it with water. At the same time, the engine stopped and the lifeboat began to turn sideways onto the waves, exposing the crew to the risk of capsize. Damien quickly restarted the engine and applied power astern to turn the lifeboat's bow to face the waves. All three crew members then worked together to get the casualty who had reached the boat on board. The orange rope was attached to him and it appeared to be connected to the man still in the water, so Matthew secured one end to the lifeboat. With the confused seas and submerged rocks, the lifeboat and volunteer crew were operating at their limits and, with the casualty

onboard the lifeboat deteriorating rapidly and needing immediate care, they had to make a quick assessment of the situation. Having not seen any response from the second casualty, and since reaching him could put everybody on the lifeboat in more danger, Damien decided to helm the lifeboat away from the cliff where the first man could be transferred to the rescue helicopter, which was on its way. It was too risky to recover the anchor, so Matthew cut the line and Damien helmed the lifeboat towards deeper water, pulling the second casualty clear of the cliff as he did so. Once away from the cliff and out of the breaking seas, the lifeboat crew attended the first casualty who was drifting in and out of consciousness. Matthew took off his helmet and put it onto the man’s head to prevent heat loss. Meanwhile, Damien pulled in the orange line to bring the second casualty alongside the lifeboat. Sadly, he was not breathing and was unresponsive and was later declared dead. The crew’s priority now was to evacuate the first casualty, whose condition was deteriorating, and they quickly manoeuvred the lifeboat so that he could be winched into the rescue helicopter. He was taken to hospital where he subsequently made a full recovery.

n The scene of the rescue operation the day after the rescue 5


Extra work for flood team AS IF an RNLI crew volunteer wasn't busy enough remaining on standby 24 hours a day for their local lifeboat team, some also choose to volunteer for the charity's flood rescue teams. Volunteers from Cornwall are amongst those who belong to the south west team and this autumn they were put through their paces at an annual training event in Hayle. It's a requirement that the teams practise their skills on a regular basis and the aim of the training events is to refresh pre-learnt skills and conduct rescue scenarios which closely match those that may be experienced in a flood deployment. So the south west team gathered, along with two colleagues from Devon and Cornwall Police, at the RNLI Lifeguard Area Support Centre in Hayle and set up a base camp, sleeping in the open warehouse. This is typical of the type of accommodation that's offered or available during a deployment. As Flood Team Leader, Glen Mallen explained, their exercise had an added reality as it coincided with flooding in Looe: He said: “We had just settled in for the night when I received a call from the RNLI advising of the developing situation in Looe. “The team were mobilised and started making their way there but on route it became apparent that the team wouldn't be required and we returned to base.

“This was a good exercise in always being ready to move. We didn't rest up though and the training started the following morning at 7.30am. During the afternoon and as part of the exercise, I fully mobilised the team to a simulated flood incident in the centre of Hayle. “The team moved all the equipment from the Area Support Centre and set up a Forward Operating Base in the town and immediately responded to a report of two people cut off by the rising flood water. “Following this the team where tasked to many more simulated flood incidents designed to test their flood skills and ability to work as a team. “During the deployment the team were re tasked to a new area requiring the whole operation to be moved. “The boats were relaunched and tasked to search for a missing individual, followed immediately by a range of other rescues, at this point in the pitch dark. “The exercise ended at around 2.30am with the team having been going for more than 19 hours. “In a real deployment a backup team would have been sent out to relieve us but it is important to test the resilience and capability of all when tired and exhausted.” The event was captured by RNLI volunteer photographer Simon Culliford as you can see from the photographs on this page.

n The crew tackle rough waters during the exercise day

n The crew searching the waters during the exercise

St Ives set to benefit from the latest advanced technology St Ives will be one of the first lifeboat stations in the country to receive an innovative new class of RNLI lifeboat, the Shannon. The new £1.5m lifeboat will replace St Ives’s current RNLI Mersey class lifeboat, The Princess Royal, when she comes to the end of her operational life in around two years time. Derek Hall, St Ives RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: “Everyone at St Ives lifeboat station is delighted and extremely honoured that we are to receive one of the first of the new Shannon class of lifeboats. “Our former Coxswain Tommy Cocking has been very much involved in the trials and development of both the new lifeboat and the new launch and recovery system and tractor that’s been developed in conjunction with it. The volunteer crew previously assisted with the extreme weather launch and recovery trials at Hayle with the existing experimental lifeboat and

had the opportunity to experience its water jet propulsion system, so we’re extremely excited to see the Shannon coming to the station where we’re sure her capabilities will enhance our ability to save lives.” The Shannon has been designed in-house by RNLI naval architects who have harnessed cutting-edge technology to ensure the new lifeboat meets the demands of a modern rescue service and to allow the charity’s volunteer crew to do their lifesaving work as safely as possible in all weather conditions. Like all RNLI all-weather lifeboats, the Shannon is self-righting and it will return to an upright position in the event of a capsize during extreme weather or sea conditions. The new class of lifeboat is at present undergoing full sea trials, with the first operational Shannon class lifeboats going on station next year.

n The Shannon at Exmouth with the launch and recovery vehicle Picture: Nathan Williams 6


STOP PRESS: The RNLI’s new lifeboat house and slipway at The Lizard, in Cornwall, has been nominated for a national Construction Excellence award. Designed by architects Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole with consulting engineers Royal Haskoning, it has already won the award for Best Technical Design in the South West, organised by the region’s Local Authority Building Control. 16


n Youngsters from Truro’s Bosvigo School have fun while learning valuable safety lessons

Picture: RNLI/EMMA HAINES

Youngsters learn vital safety lessons YOUNGSTERS from across Cornwall took to the waves with RNLI lifeguards this summer to learn vital lessons about how to keep themselves safe in the surf. Dozens of children from schools across the county took part in the charity’s unique Hit the Surf scheme at Hayle, Fistral and Bude during the summer months. The programme saw RNLI lifeguards delivering surf safety sessions combining theory and practical lessons, which aim to make the children more capable and confident in the water. The charity’s expert lifesavers covered

important subjects like the role of lifeguards; key beach hazards; the meaning of the beach safety flags; and what to do if they get into difficulty in the water. Surfing and bodyboarding are two of the top causes of incidents dealt with by RNLI lifeguards each season, so Hit the Surf aims to tackle some of the common problems associated with the activities. RNLI Lifeguard manager Dave Gorman who runs the programme said: “Hit the Surf is a fun and active programme for the children to get involved in but it also carries important messages about how to stay safe in the surf.

Bodyboarding is particularly popular with children so we want to make sure they have the right skills and knowledge to be able to enjoy themselves but keep safe at the same time.” Up to 1,700 children, aged between eight and 12, from 65 schools will have taken part in the unique Hit the Surf scheme in 2012. The programme complements the RNLI’s annual summer beach safety campaign, which encourages beach-goers to make safety a priority when visiting the seaside by choosing a lifeguarded beach.

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n The interactive exhibition has proved a real hit

100,000 visitors so far for Search and Rescue THE blockbuster Search and Rescue exhibition at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth is proving a huge hit with visitors. The exhibition, which opened on March 16, takes visitors on an interactive, stimulating and emotive journey into the role of the maritime rescue services, celebrating the work of not only the RNLI, but also the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and HM Coastguard. Visitors have been able to get up close to one of the RNLI’s Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboats and jump on board a beach quad bike to become a virtual lifeguard, taking action to ensure that swimmers and surfers are between the correct flags. Visitors have also heard moving accounts of real seaside rescues from volunteer crewmen and women and explored the history of the charity’s fundraising efforts through a fascinating assembly of collection boxes spanning 150 years. Milly Newman, Exhibition Development Manager at the

Maritime Museum, says: “Since opening in the spring over 100,000 people have been through our doors and enjoyed this exhibition. “Search and Rescue seems to be a topic that truly captures people’s imaginations and the exhibition is regularly cited as the biggest ‘wow’ moment by our visitors. “We have also held a number of Meet the Crew events throughout the year and these have proved immensely popular. “Visitors love having the opportunity to meet and hear first-hand accounts from the heroic men and women who risk their lives at sea to save others.” Search and Rescue at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall runs until the end of 2013 and will see a number of new features added in the coming months to enhance the exhibition in its second year. There is also series of lectures supporting the exhibition and for more information please visit www.nmmc.co.uk or call 01326 313388. 11


n The Cornwall recipients of various awards, presented at the RNLI College in Poole

Picture: RNLI/Simon Culliford

Cornwall RNLI volunteers honoured with ceremony EACH year the RNLI recognises the commitment of their volunteers who support the charity at a variety of awards ceremonies throughout Cornwall. In one such ceremony held at the Institutions headquarters in Poole, Dorset, 29 individuals were awarded at a special ceremony. A wide range of volunteer roles were recognised and a number of stations, guilds and branches represented, with some individuals showing more than 30 years of commitment to the charity that saves lives at sea. Among the stations, guilds and branches represented were Bude, Falmouth, Hayle, Launceston, Looe, Padstow, Penlee, Polruan, Porthleven, Rock, St Agnes, St Germans, St Ives, and Sennen Cove. The charity’s fundraisers, supporters and operational volunteers received awards at the RNLI College from Roger Jackson, volunteer RNLI Helmsman at Exmouth lifeboat station who was this year a recipient of the RNLI’s Bronze Medal for Gallantry. At another ceremony held in Looe, eight lifeboat volunteers were presented with awards by the charity for their long service and dedication. Lifeboat Operations Manager David Haines, Chair Robbie Alberry, fundraisers Lynda Damms, Anne Hodgkinson, Janet Ward, Margaret Fiddik, Allan Newman and David Parker were each presented with an accolade by RNLI Area Manager Dave Nicoll, along

with John Evans from the Rame Peninsula RNLI branch, who also received an award at the ceremony. Dave Nicoll said of both of the presentations ceremonies that it was a great way of thanking all of the volunteers who work tirelessly to support and raise funds for the charity. He said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of our charity, we simply couldn’t do without them, and this event was all about saying a very big thank you to them for their continued support. “This year’s award winners represent a wide range of volunteer roles from fundraisers, to those who are part of the lifeboat station management group or offer special skills like photography. “Whoever they are and whatever they do, they perform an essential service for our charity. “The courage and commitment of the RNLI’s crews is well known but we must never forget that our crews couldn’t perform their lifesaving role without the dedication of a large band of volunteers who are often hard at work behind the scenes.” This year also saw the RNLI’s operational volunteer lifeboat crew members receive the well deserved recognition of Her Majesty the Queen with the award of a Diamond Jubilee Medal to members of the armed forces and emergency services, along with living holders of the Victoria Cross and George Cross and some of the other members of the Royal

n Sennen Cove RNLI Coxswain Terry George being presented with his Diamond Jubilee medal by Tamsin Thomas, RNLI Public Relations Manager Picture: RNLI/Tim Stevens Household. This award will be given to operational lifeboat crew members that have more than five years service saving lives at sea as of February 6, 2012. At the time of the jubilee Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, said: “The Queen has dedicated her life to the service of this country and the Diamond Jubilee will offer us all the opportunity to celebrate the commitment, loyalty and faithful-

ness with which she has led the country across the last sixty years. “It is right that we reward those people who, like The Queen, also dedicate their lives to public good and who represent the very best of the British spirit. “I hope the official medal will serve as a mark of thanks to all those who give so much in the name of society and public service and I extend my congratulations to all the recipients.” 13


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Remember the RNLI in your will THE lifesaving result of leaving a gift to the RNLI in your will is poignantly illustrated in this picture taken during Remember the RNLI Week this year and featuring a gathering of all those involved in saving lives at sea. Across the border in Devon, the Exmouth RNLI team hosted a meeting, which brought together the extraordinary people who make up the legacy chain, from the supporter who pledges to leave money in his will, to the RNLI Coxswain and the casualty he saved. The picture shows just how important legacies are to the charity that funds six out of every ten lifeboat launches using gifts left in wills. Featured in the picture (from left to right) are those who make up the legacy chain: n Don Hodgkinson has been an RNLI volunteer at Exmouth RNLI for 14 years taking on both fundraising and operational roles and now the volunteer Boathouse Manager. Without fundraising volunteers like Don the money wouldn’t be there to provide the lifeboats, equipment and training needed by the volunteer crew. n Roger Dawe is Chairman of the Norman Family Charitable Trust who very generously donated £74,000 to fund the crew changing rooms at the Exmouth Lifeboat Station. n Peter Harrison from southeast Cornwall is a life long supporter of the RNLI who has already pledged to leave money to the

n Nothing could illustrate the importance of legacies for the charity more than this picture, which features everyone involved in the legacy chain, from the donors to the crew Picture: RNLI/Simon Culliford. charity in his will. His generosity will ensure future funding for the work of the RNLI. n Sarah Galliford and Richard Ridout from Topsham had to call on the services of the Exmouth RNLI team in June when their yacht grounded on rocks in heavy seas. n Tim Mock is the Coxswain at Exmouth RNLI and at the front line of the RNLI’s lifesaving operations.

It is he who uses the equipment and training funded by legacies to ensure his volunteer crew members continue to save lives at sea. Kate Ireland, the RNLI’s legacy manager in the south west, says it’s important people understand how the legacy chain works; She said: “Every gift left to the RNLI in a will is a lifesaver. Small or large, from boots to lifeboats, they all help our volunteers stay safe

and save more lives at sea. “To illustrate this we brought all those involved in the work of the RNLI together to show how a legacy can support the volunteer team that save lives at sea, from the fundraisers, to the casualties and the coxswain.

Caroline Q and the hungry sailors WELL known TV celebrity chef Dick Strawbridge and his son James are currently sailing the coast of Cornwall visiting food producers and cooking their delicious meals for different groups and organisations as part of their upcoming ITV series “Hungry Sailors”. Recently they moored up in Falmouth where they took part in the Oyster Festival before continuing their journey west. On Tuesday 6 October Dick and James visited the lifeboat station at The Lizard. Having had a guided tour of the new station they were invited to join the crew out on a routine exercise. On their return to the station Dick and James prepared a

sumptuous dinner of Chilli Con Carne for ten members of the volunteer lifeboat crew and shore crew. The following week Andrew was then invited to join Dick and James along with a number of local food producers in Coverack where Dick and James again cooked for their guests, this time to be marked for their efforts. Meanwhile, it was television’s Caroline Quentin who was filming at Padstow this summer for her next series of Caroline Quentin’s Cornwall that will be aired in 2013. A big supporter of the RNLI, Caroline filmed the Padstow team launching for her first series but this time round took up the offer to join the crew volunteers on

n Above: Dick and James cook for the station crew n Bottom right: Caroline prepares for her night at sea one of their regular exercise nights. Despite going a little green at one stage, Caroline loved every minute of the visit and even took time to help clean the lifeboat once it had been recovered back up the slipway and in to the boathouse.

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Family donates £250 to RNLI after boy’s rescue RNLI lifeguards at Whitsand Bay have received a letter of thanks and a cheque for £250 from the family of a young boy who was treated for a suspected spinal injury by the charity’s lifesavers earlier this summer. Tom Hill, from Middlesex, wrote to the lifeguard team last month thanking them for their professionalism in helping his fouryear-old son Alistair, who suffered a suspected spinal injury when he slipped on rocks at Tregonhawke Beach on Sunday, July 29. Lifeguards provided emergency medical care to the young boy with the assistance of Tamar Coastguard and paramedics. The boy was airlifted to hospital by 771 Squadron based at RNAS Culdrose at Helston. In his letter Tom said: “I just wanted to drop you a note to say thank you for the amazing response and service we received from your organisation. The 771 Squadron from Culdrose, HM Coastguard and the South Western Ambulance Service were

n Cameron’s note of appreciation to the emergency services

n A ‘thank you’ collage created by Alistair and Cameron also involved and the professionalism and dovetailing of the services was exceptional. Please pass on not only my thanks but also Alistair’s to all those involved at the RNLI.”

Included in Tom’s letter was a cheque to the RNLI for £250 and a photo collage and drawing done by Alistair and his brother Cameron. Cameron wrote: “Thank you for

helping my brother Ali when he hurt his back.” RNLI lifeguard supervisor Chris Wafer said: ‘The whole team was delighted to receive Tom’s letter, Alistair’s drawing and Cameron’s note, and especially their generous donation. “We were concerned about Alistair after his fall but it was great to hear that he’s made a full recovery. Our thanks go to Tom and his family for their praise and kind words.”

Sennen Cove RNLI dry suit presentation AS a charity, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution survives through receiving money raised by individuals and organisations. Running a lifeboat station is a costly affair when one considers all the equipment that is needed to allow the launch of either an allweather or inshore lifeboat along with its volunteer crews. So when people make special gestures it is always to the delight of the charity. Recently, well-known Sennen Cove resident Anita George was appointed to the position of president of Penzance Rotary Club and she chose her local RNLI lifeboat station at Sennen Cove as one of her charities for her year in office. Having only been elected in July, Anita set about raising funds to replace the dry suits worn by the inshore lifeboat volunteers when launched on a mission. Amazingly, only six weeks later, Anita presented coxswain Terry George with a cheque for £957. The money will allow the station to buy three much-needed replacement suits. At a gathering outside the Sennen station on Sunday, September 2, Terry explained how grateful the crew members were to Anita for all her hard work. He also emphasised the importance of the inshore lifeboat in saving lives in the cove, after the craft was launched recently in heavy seas, with her volunteer crew, to rescue an angler from an isolated outcrop of rock off Pendeen 16

n The team at Sennen Cove RNLI lifeboat station accept a donation for new dry suits (being worn in the background by some of the crew volunteers) from Anita George


RNLI duo in cooking test A BIT of healthy competition was served up as the dish of the day on Sunday, September 30, when an RNLI volunteer and an RNLI lifeguard went head-to-head in a cooking contest. Coxswain of Falmouth lifeboat, Mark Pollard, was pitched against Newquay RNLI lifeguard supervisor Tim Fallowfield in a culinary competition at this year’s Cornwall Food and Drink Festival held in Truro. The pair worked closely under the top guidance of their chef partners Neil Haydock, from the Watergate Bay Hotel, and Chris Eden, from the Driftwood Restaurant, near Portscatho. Each team had to prepare sardine and crab dishes from scratch using locally sourced ingredients. Both Mark and Tim got stuck in, despite Mark’s strong dislike to picking out crab meat! Spurred on by a large audience of spectators, the teams cracked on with their cooking, finishing roughly within the 40-minute time allocation. Both dishes looked scrumptious and it was down to the lucky panel of judges to do the taste testing. After much deliberation, the winners by one point were Mark Pollard and his chef partner Chris Eden. Mark was presented with a prize of a fish filleting knife and both were able to enjoy the leftovers of their delicious dishes. n Congratulations to Mark, Tim, Chris and Neil for their involvement and a big thank you to the Cornwall Food and Drink Festival organisers and to Cornish Mutual for choosing the RNLI as their charity and therefore inviting us to be a part of the event and especially for holding a collection for us over the three days.

n All smiles from the competing RNLI ‘chefs’ and their mentors

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Single help for RNLI IRISH BAND NINE Lies are set to release a Christmas charity single raising money for the RNLI. The single, named Tragedy, will be officially launched on December 1, and is on general release from December 3. It will be available in all major online retailers, and will comprise of the track Tragedy and the video of the track. Nine Lies are donating the entire sales money to the lifesaving charity, the RNLI, and not keeping a penny for themselves. This means that the band will not see any profit, but this is for a great cause, and Nine Lies really think that the RNLI deserves it, as does their manager who lives and works in West Cornwall. In their news announcement about the single the band say - 'Just for a moment... “Imagine sitting round your dinner table at Christmas, pulling crackers, shoveling down loads of hot tasty turkey and all the trimmings, snow falling gently outside. (Well ok, freezing rain pouring outside, this is the UK and Ireland we are talking about.) “Whilst you are doing that, somewhere in the UK and Ireland, a lifeboat crew is

being called out on a "shout", their lifeboat bouncing and rolling on the rough seas to rescue someone in trouble. “The crews of the lifeboats are volunteers, they don't get paid to do this - if you were asked to work on Christmas Day - you'd be asking for a lot of money to compensate you - or you'd flatly say "No way - not on Christmas day" - wouldn't you? “But these people just don't think like that - they will go out regardless of the day, time, or weather to save people - quite often seeing things no one should ever see, but they do, and they deserve the best Christmas present that we can collectively give to say thank you as a nation (British or Irish), so go out and buy this single, giving them a Christmas No.1.” Search for the band on Facebook for more details.

Wilko! Store steps in to boost fundraising in the south west THE RNLI is delighted that Wilkinsons stores in the south west have selected to support the lifesaving charity for 2012 and 2013. Stores across the region, including Redruth, St Austell and Falmouth in Cornwall, are raising money for the charity through a host of fun fundraising activities which are taking place on the same weekend every month. Events include fun runs, auctions and leg waxing, to wearing wellies and lifejackets to work and offering customers the chance to meet crew at their stations. The partnership kicked off at the end of May and already a fantastic £24,000 has been raised, far exceeding the company’s annual fundraising target. They are now aiming to raise £60,000 by May 2013 – an incredible amount of money which will go a long way to helping the RNLI continue saving lives at sea. In addition to the fundraising, employees have committed to volunteering and building relationships with both branches and stations and supporting their activities. So far employees have given just under 80 hours of their time to support the RNLI. The photo shows RNLI mascot Stormy Stan at the opening of Wilkinsons in Falmouth on June 21 and a fundraising display in one of the stores.

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n Above – Looe RNLI at Bodmin Sainsbury’s. Right - Coxswain Andrew Putt with SOS letters

Picture: Holly de Roy

Date set for SOS Day THE RNLI’s annual SOS Day will be on Friday, January 25, 2013 and this year Cornwall’s fundraising branches and guilds are being encouraged to use the day to raise money to help fund the running costs of the county’s 14 RNLI lifeboat stations, including St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly. So look out for SOS events, usually promoted under the SOS acronym like Slurp Our Soup, Soap Our Saloons or See Our Services. Here’s what volunteers got up to in 2012. n At Looe the team completed a bike ride from Padstow Lifeboat Station back to Looe. n At Penlee they also got on their bikes to ride from Plymouth back to Newlyn.

n The RNLI staff from our support base at Saltash held a mini lifeboat day in Plymouth city centre. n At Sennen Cove RNLI they did a morse codeathon for 24 hours. n In Hayle the lifeguards spent the day washing cars. n At The Lizard the local school visited the station to sell their homemade cakes and buns n At Saltash the fundraising volunteers served delicious soup. Sounds like fun? Then why not join in and either attend one of the events already being organised – or plan one of your own.

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n Operations director Michael Vlasto presents Marcus with his vellum Picture: RNLI/Tim Stevens

n The five RNLI lifeguards receive their award from Alison Saunders Picture: RNLI/Tim Stevens

Five Cornish lifeguards receive top RNLI award Five RNLI lifeguards have been presented with the Alison Saunders Lifeguarding Award – one of the charity’s top honours – for the rescue of a bodyboarder in dangerous seas at Porthtowan in September 2011. The Alison Saunders Lifeguarding Award was established in 2009. Sponsored and presented by former RNLI deputy chairperson Alison Saunders, the award is given annually for the most meritorious rescue by RNLI lifeguards during the previous season. RNLI lifeguards Josh Ward, Ben Sowter and Adam Bunt and former lifeguards Chris Lowry and Marcus Lascelles were presented with the award at a special ceremony at Porthtowan by Alison Saunders in front of their friends and family. The event also provided an opportunity for RNLI Operations Director Michael Vlasto to officially present Marcus with The Thanks of the institution inscribed on vellum, the fourth highest award given by the charity, granted to him in November in recognition of his bravery in performing the rescue in huge surf and strong winds. Josh, Chris, Ben and Adam all received a letter of appreciation from the charity recognising their efforts. The rescue took place on

Sunday, September 10 last year, when Marcus was alerted to the bodyboarder, Tom Durrant, who was towards the northern end of the beach struggling to cope in large, six to eight foot waves. After paddling out to him, Marcus as forced to abandon his rescue board to cling onto Tom. In very challenging conditions, Marcus helped the casualty scramble onto the rocks, despite the fact the pair were washed back into the water on several occasions. The pair eventually reached safety, where Marcus was treated for cuts and bruising. Dickon Berriman, RNLI lifeguard manager, said; “On top of the recognition the RNLI lifeguards have already received from the charity, it’s a great honour for the team to receive the prestigious Alison Saunders Lifeguard Award. “It was an extremely brave rescue carried out by Marcus with the back up of his colleagues, and illustrates the part the whole team of lifeguards on the beach play to ensure bathers and water users are safe. Conditions on the day were very demanding and the casualty was very lucky.” In addition to receiving the Alison Saunders Lifeguarding Award, each lifeguard was given a share of £500 to be used to further their lifeguard training experience. 22


n Lifeguards Dan Latham and Alex Pleasants Picture: RNLI/JAMES UREN

Lifeguards face challenging time RNLI lifeguards in Cornwall had another busy summer helping dozens of people in need of assistance on the county’s 56 patrolled beaches. August saw some particularly challenging conditions on the north Cornish coast, with several rescues taking place on the 16th due to big seas and strong winds. At Porthtowan a 44-year-old man was surfing when he got caught out in the conditions and swiftly carried round to a rocky area of the beach. The inshore rescue boat was launched and very quickly retrieved the casualty from the water and brought him back to shore. Martyn Ward, RNLI supervisor, said it was a superb rescue. “This was one of the best rescues I’ve ever seen, carried out in extremely challenging conditions. At one stage we couldn’t see the inshore rescue boat as it disappeared in the troughs between the waves.” On the same day further down the coast at Godrevy lifeguards rescued four people seen clinging to a kayak close to a reef. Two teenage girls on holiday from Manchester and Macclesfield had been snorkelling when they became overwhelmed by the conditions. Their brother and father, who were on a kayak nearby, tried to help when they capsized. All four casualties were now in the water in a six-foot swell and strong winds, being washed onto rocks. RNLI lifeguard Josh Harris responded with a rescue board and paddled out to the scene,

approximately 300m to the north of the bathing area, whilst RNLI lifeguards Dan Latham and Alex Pleasants, from neighbouring Gwithian Beach, responded on a rescue water craft. The casualties were being swept further onto the reef so Josh paddled into their location and put two female casualties on the rescue board. He then paddled them into deeper water where the rescue water craft could get to them safely. RNLI lifeguard Alex secured one of the girls to a rescue tube, and Dan, who was driving the rescue water craft, transferred the girls back one at a time safely to shore. The remaining two casualties got back on their kayak and paddled back to the beach, under the lifeguards’ supervision. The casualties were checked over by RNLI lifeguards at the beach and found to have suffered no injuries. At Perranporth, RNLI lifeguards Adam Garland and James Kirton launched the inshore rescue boat at 3.45pm to help a teenager who had been swept behind Chapel Rock in the rough conditions. He was brought back to shore unharmed. Lifeguards across the county’s beaches were busy all season keeping people safe. They dealt with a host of incidents from weaver fish stings to major rescues and medical emergencies. They are taking a well-earned break over the winter, mostly in much sunnier climes, but will be reappearing on the beaches in early spring for the start of the 2013 season.

Check the weather forecast... www.thepacket.co.uk 23


n The Royal National Lifeboat institution SOS Day. RNLI members in action at their fundraising car wash which took place at Hayle Retail Park at the end of January. To find out more about SOS Day turn to page 21. Picture: Portreath Studio

n The Lizard lifeboat in action 24


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A busy 2012 for RNLI DESPITE poor weather the charity’s volunteers in Cornwall have been involved in a wide range of activities, from celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to involvement in the 2012 Olympics, as well as carrying out dramatic rescues in challenging conditions. Although nationally the figures show a two per cent reduction in rescues between June and August, in the South West there has been a slight rise and, due to the unseasonable weather, there have been some extremely difficult rescues. The busiest lifeboat stations in Cornwall were Falmouth with 45 calls, Penlee with 24 and Newquay with 23. But not all incidents happen when the weather is poor - things can also happen when conditions are perfect for boating. One particular occasion was in July when both Falmouth lifeboats were tasked to a medical evacuation of a 46-year-old angler who became unwell while fishing on a charter boat in Gerrans Bay. The male was found to be semiconscious so a decision was made to airlift him to hospital by a rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose. After being placed on a stretcher by the lifeboat crew he was transferred to the helicopter before being flown to RCH (Treliske). A number of incidents have seen stations working together to carry out rescues. The weather played its part in August when strong offshore winds saw the St Agnes Inshore lifeboat and the RNLI lifeguards work together to rescue two kayakers who had been blown offshore and capsized. Once secured by the lifeguards, who had paddled out to assist them, the inshore lifeboat was launched to bring them safely back to the beach. In another incident in September both the Sennen Cove and St Ives all-weather lifeboats were tasked to search for a traditional sailing lugger Ibis after it had lost its engine and had its sails blown out in the fresh onshore north-easterly wind. The Sennen Cove crew located the vessel at anchor in Morvah Bay a mile east of Portheras Cove only about a cable from the cliff. The Ibis was then towed to Newlyn by the Sennen Cove lifeboat and St Ives returned to station. In another challenging incident Bude inshore lifeboat and Water Rescue Craft were tasked to a report of two people in the water. On arrival at the scene the lifeboat crews recovered the skipper from the water, while the other managed to scramble ashore unaided. They then discovered the local fishing boat in which the men had been travelling was out of control after it had been hit by a rogue wave throwing both the occupants into the water and was 26

n A casualty is airlifted from a charter boat in Gerrans Bay

n The St Agnes inshore lifeboat is tasked to rescue two kayakers

n The Sennen Cove and St Ives all-weather lifeboats work together in the search and recovery of the Ibis going round and round in circles at full speed. The inshore lifeboat crew managed to get alongside the vessel and slowed it down using rope techniques aimed at snagging the propellor before placing one crewman aboard who then regained control of the boat. In one of the saddest incidents, in October, three Cornish lifeboats were launched to search for the 31ft yacht Seagair with one female aboard reported overdue while on passage from Mousehole to Bideford, north Devon. After an extensive search of the coast by Penlee, Sennen Cove and St Ives all-weather lifeboats, who were also joined by rescue helicopters from RNAS Culdrose and RMB Chivenor and the Appledore allweather lifeboat. There was no sign of the yacht until wreckage started to wash up in Sennen Cove which was identified from the missing yacht. In one of the most dramatic rescues, in August the Padstow all-weather lifeboat diverted from a

n The Bude RNLI team work to rescue two people thrown into the sea by a rogue wave

n The Penlee all-weather lifeboat battles through heavy seas routine exercise when it intercepted a mayday call from a capsized yacht half a mile off Trevose Head, Padstow. The yacht was found to have righted itself

but not before both the crew had been washed overboard. The 81year-old male owner had managed to get back aboard the yacht but the other crew member was


n The Padstow lifeboat crew in action off Trevose Head in August

n The St Mary’s all-weather lifeboat undertook the longest journey during an incident in September

n Newquay’s inshore lifeboats speed to the rescue of a woman who had become trapped in a cave by the incoming tide

n A Penlee lifeboat attaches a line to a stricken yacht before towing it off the beach washed away. Once on the scene the lifeboat placed two crew members aboard the yacht and then carried out a search for the missing man, who was located very quickly. A rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose then airlifted both yachtsmen to hospital while the lifeboat towed the yacht back to Padstow. In September, St Mary’s allweather lifeboat undertook the longest journey when it was

tasked to a 37ft yacht with an 81year-old male aboard 65 miles south west of the Isles of Scilly. The vessel was on passage from the Azores to Falmouth when the single-handed sailor suddenly began to feel unwell and was also running short of supplies. A Russian warship the Vice Admiral Kulakov stood by the vessel until the lifeboats arrival. The yacht was towed back to St Mary’s. In October both Newquay

n Fowey lifeboat crew in action at Silvermines, Mevagissey

n The Lizard lifeboat goes to the assistance of the Charisma inshore lifeboats were tasked to a report of three people in the water,. Once on scene the Coastguard team on the beach guided the lifeboats into the surf in between sets of waves to recover the casualties into the lifeboat. It transpired that a woman had gone into a cave to retrieve her dog but had been caught out by the incoming tide. Seeing her plight, two local brothers, both qualified lifeguards, had stripped down to their underwear and swam out to rescue the woman. The volunteer lifeboat crews praised the efforts of the two men, certain the woman would have drowned without their swift response. Often lifeboat calls occur to the most conscientious boat owners. In one incident The Lizard lifeboat launched to the commercial fishing vessel Charisma which was enroute to its home port having come straight out of a refit. Off Mullion the boat’s gearbox started to cause concern and so the owner asked for assistance. The lifeboat arrived on scene to find the vessel still motoring toward Newlyn managing to make the safety of the harbour under its own power having been escorted by the lifeboat. In September, both Fowey lifeboats were tasked to a report of a 10ft inflatable boat with one person onboard that had become swamped the conditions at Silvermines, Mevagissey. The

inshore lifeboat attempted to recover the casualty from the beach but was overwhelmed by the heavy surf in the east-southeasterly force 3 to 4 winds. The Fowey all-weather lifeboat towed the inshore boat off the beach taking the male aboard and transferring him to a waiting ambulance at Fowey Lifeboat Station. All lifeboat incidents are not just to people and boats as in September the Rock inshore lifeboat was launched to recover a young dog called Beauty that had gone over the 20-metre cliff at St Saviours Point, Padstow. Volunteer lifeboat crew member James Batters climbed up the cliff and rescued the increasingly distressed pup, reuniting it with its owners who were waiting on a nearby beach. In October both Penlee lifeboats were tasked to a 30ft yacht with three people onboard that had gone aground on the entrance to Penzance Harbour in very rough seas. The yacht had left Penzance earlier on passage to Weston Super Mare but was attempting to return to the safety of the harbour when one of the crew was taken ill with seasickness. The Penlee inshore lifeboat managed to get a line aboard the yacht and tow it off the beach while the all-weather lifeboat stood by, later attaching a second line to the casualty for the journey back into the harbour. 27


Six decades of experience at Porthtowan IT was a family affair on Porthtowan beach on Friday, November 2 as three members of the same family made up the RNLI lifeguard team for the day. Martyn Ward, his brother Drustan and his son Josh were on duty at the beach for the first time as a trio. Between them they have an incredible 60 years of lifeguarding experience. Martyn, 52, began lifeguarding in 1977 at the age of 18 under the council and hasn’t looked back since. He became an RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor when the charity took over lifeguarding in 2001. He said it’s a way of life: “Lifeguarding is a great job – it gives you a good lifestyle, keeps you fit and you’re outside most of the time.” His brother Drustan, 42, is also a supervisor for the RNLI. He did his first lifeguard season in 1987, before taking a break and returning to it in 1995. He said: “The beach is an amazing place to work and it’s been a pleasure over the years to help guide people into the safest and most enjoyable area of the beach. A lot of the work we do gives us a good personal sense of wellbeing and achievement as we’re able to help people.” The youngest member of the Ward lifeguard family is 26-year-old Josh. He took up lifeguarding in 2005 and is now a senior lifeguard in Carrick in the summer and a lifeguard in Australia in the winter. He set off on November 4 ahead of their summer patrols and will return in time for the start of the 2013 lifeguard season in Cornwall. So how did the day go for the Ward trio? Despite stormy seas and a westerly wind of force 6, they had a busy morning with a lot of bathers and after a quiet afternoon ended the day with another flurry of activity. Drustan says there were no rescues but they were ready for action. “It was great being on duty with my broth-

n The Ward family on duty at Porthtowan on Friday they are (from left to right) Josh Ward, Drustan by the door of the vehicle and Martyn. The second photo shows the men around the red and yellow flag Picture: RNLI/Dickon Berriman

er and my nephew. I know how they work and have total confidence in them so we were ready for anything, and actually the day had the potential to be really busy because of the conditions if nothing else.” Josh says it was a good day: “I’ve been on the beach with Martyn and Drustan all my life and we’ve always got on well so it was a fun day that just flew by.”

Cornwall RNLI - winter events 2012/13 n Porthleven and District RNLI invite you to Share Our Supper to mark Burns Night and the RNLI’s annual SOS Day on Friday, January 25, 2013. The event, a supper with quiz and raffle, will be held at the Harbour Inn, Porthleven with a 7pm for 7.30pm start. Tickets are £17.95 each, to include entry in to the quiz. Please wear something Scottish! It doesn’t have to be a full outfit, but at the very least a shawl, stoll, tie or even a piece of tartan ribbon attached to your clothing. Anyone not entering the spirit of the dress code will be ‘fined’! For more information and to book your tickets please contact either Gill Moore on 01326 561718 or Jean Ashton on 01326 561795. n Port Isaac RNLI invites you to join them at their Christmas Market in the Village Hall on Saturday, December 1. The event starts at 10.30am and runs until 1.30pm offering stalls, mulled wine, a live performance by the popular ladies choir Gulls Aloud and a visit by Father Christmas. There’ll also be a chance to win the draw for the stunning original painting Beating the Storm BY WELL KNOWN ARTIST Sian Fletcher illustrating an historic lifeboat rescue carried out by Port Isaac RNLI back in 1877.

n St Agnes RNLI Guild are holding their annual Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, November 24 from 10am until midday at the Church Hall. The event is a golden opportunity to grab some early Christmas presents and help save lives at sea. Then on Saturday, December 8 it’s the Punch and Pies event at St Agnes Hotel from 11am to 1pm. n Padstow RNLI have four events in the first quarter of 2013 to tell you about. On Saturday, January 19 they’ll be celebrating SOS day with a Soup or Sausage event at the Old Ship Hotel from 10am onwards. The Padstow RNLI AGM is on Monday, February 11 in the Church Rooms, Church Street, Padstow at 7pm. On Friday, February 15 everyone is invited back to the Old Ship Hotel for a Curry and Quiz evening, 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Finally Sunday, March 31 will see egg rolling for the RNLI at midday in Duke Street. n Looe RNLI Branch invite you to their Christmas Carol Concert at 7.30pm on Wednesday, December 5 at the Looe Guildhall. The evening will be led by the Pelynt Male Voice Choir. Tickets are available from the RNLI shop in Looe, and for latecomers on the door, at £6 a head to include refreshments.

n By popular demand, two outstanding musical groups are to perform together again in Cornwall for the RNLI. Following the first performance of its kind in Cornwall in January 2012, the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth and the Plymouth Gilbert and Sullivan Fellowship, joined by members of the Mevagissey Male Choir, are to appear together again in Truro. They’ll be appearing in another spectacular concert “The Magic of Musicals”, and one not to be missed, in the Hall for Cornwall at 2.30pm on Sunday, January 27 2013. Tickets are already selling fast and are available from the Hall for Cornwall at £16, with £15 concessions for seniors and children. A £1 Theatre Fund payment is added to each ticket sold. To contact the Hall for Cornwall Box Office call 01872 262466 or visit them at www.hallforcornwall.co.uk n The Lizard RNLI lifeboat fundraising team are holding a Carolaire at the lifeboat station on Friday, December 7at 7pm. The St Keverne choir will be performing along with the Landewednack school choir. Admission is free and there will be refreshments. The service will be led by the Rev Deirdre Mackrill. All are welcome. 28


Gold star treatment for Olympic medal winner OLYMPIC gold medal winning rower Helen Glover was a guest of the Penlee RNLI lifeboat crew when they ended one of their regular exercises by delivering her to Newlyn for the start of a triumphant open-topped bus procession. The victory parade took the rower to Penzance where she was greeted by thousands of fans. Helen and her rowing partner, Heather Stanning, took gold in the 2012 Olympic pairs rowing final, winning Britain’s first gold of the Games. They also made history by becoming Britain’s first ever female rowing gold medallists – a huge achievement for the duo who only joined forces two years ago. The parade ended at Helen’s former secondary school, Humphry Davy, where she is remembered as a girl who always involved herself in sport. Penlee RNLI coxswain, Patch Harvey, said it was an honour to share the wheel with an Olympic star: “This was her first time back in Cornwall since she won the gold medal and we were delighted to be able to honour her achievement by delivering her to Newlyn by sea,” said Patch. “It seemed so appropriate, given that she won her medal on the water. We all celebrated when our local Olympian did so well, and this was our way of saying congratulations.” You can see by our picture, right, that the day started very wet but, fortunately, the weather dried up for the open topped bus ride!

n Under instruction from coxswain Patch Harvey, Olympian Helen Glover takes a turn at the helm of the Penlee Lifeboat Picture: PHIL MONKTON

Beauty of a rescue for Rock RNLI A YOUNG dog called Beauty is happily bouncing around thanks to Rock RNLI volunteer James Batters. The pup had managed to get stuck half way up a cliff in September and, when it started to get upset, James climbed out of the lifeboat and up the cliff face to rescue it. Beauty had gone over the 20-metre cliff between St Saviour’s Point and Padstow and was stuck at the halfway point. The Rock RNLI volunteers launched the D class inshore lifeboat Rusper but initially could not get up the cliff that was covered in brambles and gorse and had an unstable surface. James Batters, the RNLI helmsman at Rock, recalled: “We decided to call the Coastguard cliff rescue team but then the dog started to sound very distressed so I made the decision to climb up the cliff. I had to go a good 15 metres up to reach Beauty. “I was then able to safely bring him down the cliff and deliver him back to his owners who were on a nearby beach.” RNLI lifeboat crews are sometimes called on by the coastguards to assist in the recovery of dogs to ensure distressed owners do not put themselves in danger trying to rescue their pets.

n RNLI helmsman James Batters safely back on the beach with Beauty 29


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RNLI Cornwall Magazine Issue 2  
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