Pirate FM News

30 Years Since the Penlee Lifeboat Tragedy

news-rnli.jpg

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 6:02am 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.

some great deals from pirate fm
Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Pirate FM

Suggested articles

Limerick 3-16 Galway 2-18: Limerick end 45 years of hurt

Sports News: Limerick are All-Ireland champions for the first time since 1973, after beating Galway 3-16 to 2-18 at Croke Park.

Office Outlet demands three-year rent-free period in latest CVA

National News: One of the UK's biggest stationery retailers is asking some of its landlords ‎for a three-year rent holiday in the latest restructuring plan forced on the industry by soaring costs and weak sales.

Trending in Cornwall

VIDEO: Visit Cornwall stops actively promoting two beaches

This is amid fears about overcrowding this summer

Taxi drivers handed licences despite convictions

Cases in Cornwall include drink-driving and speeding

Four rescued as blow-up chair drifts off Cornish coast

A broken down jet-ski was towing the inflatable

WATCH: Dolphins filmed feeding off Newquay

The footage of around 15 is lovely!

WATCH: Minister makes pledge on pollution in Cornwall

Plastic waste could be tackled through the tax system

Another comedian enters the cream tea debate

Sarah Millican does it a VERY different way

Huge spike in demand at Cornwall's biggest hospital

Some staff at A&E are working almost double shifts

Over 1,600 drivers caught speeding in one week

Devon and Cornwall Police launched a summer crackdown

Teenagers cut off by tide at Cornish harbour

The pair were angling at Marazion late on Thursday

10 things you know only if you grew up in Truro

City secrets only true locals get!

More news...

Pirate Extra Pirate 70s Escape LoveCornwall