Looe RNLI volunteers save two sea swimmers

Two sea swimmers separated from a group swimming from Talland to Polperro were rescued by Looe RNLI volunteers and taken to Polperro

Last night, July 14, 2021, two swimmers, from a group of 16, swimming from Talland to Polperro contacted the Falmouth Coast Guard Operations Center to report they were in trouble and other members of the group. might also need help.

Cries for help arrived around 8:40 p.m. as our RNLI volunteer crew on the association’s Class D inshore lifeboat
Ollie Naismith, were in Whitsand Bay for a training exercise. As we diverted our Class D crew to the site of the incident, our Director of Rescue Operations Dave Haines called in a second crew to launch the Atlantic 85
Sheila and Dennis Tongue II. When we arrived at the scene at Downend Point, just east of Polperro, our crews tracked down the two swimmers. One of the swimmers had come ashore on rocks to contact the coast guard. Both said they were exhausted and struggled to advance against the current and prevailing wind. The couple were helped aboard the Atlantic 85 and taken to Polperro to be reunited with the rest of the group. After confirming that all swimmers were unharmed, our lifeboats were removed. The inshore lifeboats returned to the station where they were washed and refueled ready for service at 10 p.m.

During the pandemic, swimming in open water / sea has become a popular activity, but also poses significant risks. Before going for a swim, the RNLI and our crew have the following tips

· If this is your first time

o Talk to a healthcare professional about the risks of cold water immersion

o Always go with a buddy, so you can look out for each other

o Tell someone where you are going and when you are coming back

· Choose your location

o Dangers ?

o If the supervised area?

o Beware of reverse currents

o Are there safe places to get out of the water along the route?

· Consult the weather and tides

o What do tides and currents do?

o When will it be dark?

o Be prepared to change plans or cancel if you are not safe

· Have the right equipment

o Combination

o Wear a brightly colored swim cap and take a tow float

o Have a proper method of calling for help – VHF radio is better than a cell phone, especially in areas with poor cell phone reception

o Wear a whistle to attract attention.

· In an emergency

o Don’t panic, don’t forget to float for a living

o Contact the Coast Guard via VHF radio or 999


Notes to Editors


· Looe RNLI Class D Ollie Naismith leaving Looe earlier in the evening

RNLI photo credit / Ian Foster


· Reestablished as an inshore rescue station in 1992, Looe RNLI operates two inshore rescue boats
An Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II and a class D Ollie Naismith

· Looe RNLI recently launched the Looe Lifeboat Appeal –
Ollie Naismith II raise £ 78,000 for a replacement Class D inshore lifeboat
Ollie Naismith II

· RNLI open water swimming safety tips are available at


· For more information on Looe RNLI Lifeboats, please visit our website

· Looe RNLI Facebook page www.facebook.com/LooeRNLI

RNLI media contacts

For more information please call

Ian Foster, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Looe Lifeboat Station, on 07902 753228 or [email protected] or [email protected]

or Amy Caldwell, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on 07920 818807 or [email protected]

or Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on 07786 668847 or [email protected]

You can also contact the RNLI Press Officer on 01202 336789

RNLI key figures

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a round-the-clock search and rescue service around the coasts of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeguard stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a typical year, over 240 lifeguard units on beaches across the UK and the Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent from the Coast Guard and the government and depends on voluntary donations and bequests to maintain its rescue service. Since the founding of the RNLI in 1824, its crews and rescuers have saved more than 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information, please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Press releases, videos and photos are available on the News Center.

Contact the RNLI – public inquiries

Members of the public can contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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