Four RNLI lifeboats launch to 195m disabled cargo vessel off Land’s End

Four RNLI lifeboats launched on 10 July 2023 to assist the 195m cargo vessel Mazarine, which had lost power and grounded on Wolf Rock Lighthouse off Land’s End.

RNLI all-weather lifeboats launched from Sennen Cove, Penlee, The Lizard and Falmouth lifeboat stations with a total of twenty-eight RNLI crew onboard.

Sennen Cove’s Tamar class all-weather lifeboat City of London III launched at 10am with seven RNLI crew, under the command of Coxswain Ollie George and made best speed to the area.

Shortly after, at 10.30am seven of Penlee RNLI’s volunteers aboard the all-weather Severn class lifeboat Ivan Ellen launched from Newlyn.

Penlee’s RNLI Coxswain Patch Harvey said: ‘It’s a distance of about 14 miles from Newlyn to Wolf Rock, and with the south westerly wind touching force 7 on our bow, it was a pretty uncomfortable trip out there but with the possibility of having to evacuate crew from the casualty vessel we were going full speed to get there quickly. It took about 45 minutes.’

Sennen Cove’s RNLI Coxswain, Ollie George said: ‘When we launched initially, we thought we might be facing a situation where we were having to evacuate the crew from the vessel, and we were preparing ourselves for a very difficult situation.

‘Thankfully Mazarine was able to clear Wolf Rock, but unable to restart her engines she was drifting at a rate of two knots towards Mounts Bay. While a tug was tasked from Falmouth to provide a tow and take the casualty to a safe port, both lifeboats remained on scene to provide safety cover, ready to respond should the situation change.’

Around 4pm with the tug on scene and established, they started the tow, heading for Falmouth. The Lizard lifeboat Rose were tasked at this point to provide safety cover across Mounts Bay and around Lizard point. Rose launched at 5.05pm with seven crew. At this time, Sennen Cove were stood down, they returned to station after seven hours at sea.

Penlee lifeboat remained on scene to support The Lizard until they were stood down and arrived back at station at around 7.30pm after nearly 10 hours at sea. The Lizard lifeboat proceeded to escort the vessel until around 1.30am, before they handed over to Falmouth lifeboat Richard Cox Scott, which had put out at 11.35pm.

The Lizard lifeboat crew were back at station around 2.30pm after seven hours at sea. The Falmouth volunteer crew escorted the vessel into the safety of Falmouth Harbour before also returning to station at around 1.40am.

Tom Mansell, RNLI Lifesaving Lead says the 15 hour service shows the dedication and commitment of the charity’s volunteers:

‘28 lifeboat crew responded to the pager and were out over the course of nearly 15 hours in challenging conditions. Many more volunteers will have been involved at all four of the stations, with our shore crew and launching authorities helping to launch and recover the lifeboats and of course waiting for news back at the station.

Our crew will have left day jobs and family to attend the service, something they never question as they respond to the pager. Thankfully it was a situation that didn’t escalate, and the cargo vessel and her crew are safe and well.’

Ships Montly - January 2024

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