Keep up to date with the latest news delivered direct to your Inbox.
30 Years Since the Penlee Lifeboat Tragedy
7:54am 19th December 2011
(Updated 7:54am 19th December 2011)
It is thirty years since the Penlee lifeboat disaster.
Mousehole is preparing to dim its Christmas lights, to mark the moment the eight crew of the Soloman Browne were lost.
They had been trying to rescue the people onboard a stricken freighter amid hundred mile an hour winds and sixty foot waves.
The tragedy left twelve children in the village without their dads, just days before Christmas.
Mike Buttery was on the cliff rescue team that night. He was one of the last to see the lifeboat before it was dashed against rocks.
He said, "We searched. We walked all the way out along the rocks from Lamorna all the way to Newlyn and never found anybody. We were hoping, we were hoping. They are all remembered and they always will be, because they are all volunteers trying to help other people."
The weather was so bad the Sennen lifeboat could not make it round Land's End to help. A helicopter from Culdrose was not able to winch anyone off the stricken Union Star. Its pilot said, "the greatest act of courage I have ever seen, and am ever likely to see, was the penultimate courage and dedication shown by the Penlee when it manoeuvred back alongside shortly after it had been bashed on top of the casualty's hatch covers. They were truly the bravest eight men I've ever seen."
Within a day of the disaster Mousehole had formed a new lifeboat crew.
Patch Harvey is the current cox. He remembers his dad going out to look for survivors. He said, "Every time a lifeboat goes to sea you expect it to go to sea. I think all the families, all the children, thought that lifeboat and their dads were going to come back - and it didn't. The number of years doesn't make any difference. Every year is the same for us. We remember the crew and take the families out to scatter flowers and wreaths where the boat was lost. It doesn't seem thirty years to us."
It comes as the RNLI warns it is facing a cash crisis. The charity relies completely on donations.
Last year it raised £51m but spent £64m on rescues alone.
You can find out how you can make a donation here.7:54am 19th December 2011
Share This StoryTweet
WATCH: Cornish 9 Year Old Faces Three Mile Muddy Trek To School
Connie Hewitt from Rosenannon is being denied free transport
PHOTOS: 15 Year Old Arrested After Derelict Supermarket Fire
The blaze in Camborne took six hours to put out
Amanda Holden's Sister "Critical" After Cornwall Crash
Papers say Britain's Got Talent star has rushed to the Duchy to be with her
Job Losses At Building Supplies Firm With Branches Across Cornwall
We do not know which Travis Perkins sites will be affected
Pirates Welcome Ospreys In British And Irish Cup
Cornwall News: The boss says they are ready to build on last week's victory
UKIP leadership contest row sparked by 'far-right' claims
National News: A bitter spat has engulfed the UKIP leadership race after one contender accused another of being "far-right" and warned against "a fresh injection of toxicity".
Business Cornwall News - Friday, 18th December 2015
Business Cornwall News: Cornwall is spearheading reform of the Uk’s business licensing laws following a a year-long project.
Mulligan joins Syria 'teddy bear' protest at Downing Street
Showbiz News: Actress Carey Mulligan was among protesters who left teddy bears outside the gates of Downing Street in protest at persistent, deadly attacks on Aleppo.
Nine hurt as stairs collapse at 'House of Horrors' in Ireland's Tayto Park
World News: Nine visitors to one of Ireland's top tourist attractions have been taken to hospital after stairs collapsed at a 'House of Horrors'.
Hamilton and Button back 'Verstappen rule'
Sports News: Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel have led the drivers' support for the FIA's crackdown on 'Verstappen-style' defending.
Soot-covered man rescued from chimney after losing his keys
Strange News: A man who locked himself out of his house had to be pulled to safety after he became stuck in his chimney trying to get back in.