Penlee Lifeboat and Penzance Coastguard search for missing person West Cornwall

An unconscious woman and a missing person resulted in a busy night for the West Cornwall volunteer emergency services last night.

The evening began with Penlee RNLI contacted by Coastguard Falmouth Operations Center at 8.37pm on Thursday.

A woman aboard an 11m yacht had been found unconscious, but breathing, and needed immediate help.

Under the command of helmsman Patch Harvey, the all-weather lifeboat Penlee ‘Ivan Ellen’ was launched within six minutes and headed towards the yacht.

A spokesman for the lifeboat said: “Once on the scene, two crew members were taken on board the yacht and after several minutes of assessing the victim, she was transferred to a stretcher, a received oxygen and was transferred to the lifeboat, together with the yacht’s skipper.

“While this was happening Falmouth Coastguard requested an ambulance and the Penzance Coastguard Rescue Team to meet the lifeboat in Newlyn.”

The Ivan Ellen moored alongside the pontoon in Newlyn, where the victim was carried out of the lifeboat by the Penzance Coastguard rescue team.

She was later transferred to the care of the standby paramedics of the South West Ambulance Service.

Then the crew of the lifeboat Ivan Ellen returned to the yacht which had been left unmanned. Two of the lifeboat volunteers jumped on board and retrieved the anchor, tied the yacht alongside the lifeboat and towed it to a quayside pontoon in Newlyn Harbour.


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By 10 p.m. the lifeboat was back and ready to go – but it wouldn’t be long before the station received another announcement.

At 23:54, the crew’s pagers rang again, this time for the two lifeboats, the ‘Ivan Ellen’ and the ‘Mollie and Ivor Dent’. They asked to help in the search for a missing person, believed to be in the area between Penlee Point and Spaniard Point near Mousehole.

Using searchlights and a night vision camera, the two lifeboats searched the shore, while the Penzance Coastguard rescue team searched the shore along the paths and area port. Devon and Cornwall Police also helped search the area using a drone, and the Coastguard rescue helicopter flew overhead.

The lifeboat spokesperson added: “After a two hour search, with everyone fearing the worst, the victim was located inland.

“The Rescue 924 search and rescue helicopter, which had also been loaded, landed on the grounds of the Paul Cricket Club to provide medical assistance.

“The two Penlee lifeboats returned to Newlyn and prepared for duty after a busy few hours at 2.30am.”