Volunteer trio risked their lives during New Year's Eve call out

Three lifeboat crew members have been praised for their courage after

saving a fisherman from rough seas on New Year’s Eve.

The

Harbour Master at Boscastle Christopher Key has commended the volunteer crew for their daring actions near Tintagel Head.

Christopher Key says that

in his opinion the courage and ability they demonstrated was of the

highest calibre.

The lifeboat volunteers saved a fisherman, who

was suffering from hypothermia, and transported him to Boscastle Harbour so he could be taken by

land ambulance to hospital.


It was late afternoon when the three RNLI volunteers launched onboard the D

class inshore lifeboat Copeland Bell following reports that a

fisherman had been washed off rocks and in to the sea.

In extremely challenging

conditions helm Andy Cameron and crew Nicky Bradbury and Matt Main managed to find

the man who had been in the water for around an hour, and get him into the

lifeboat.

At this point it was getting dark. There were then mixed reports

suggesting another person might be in the water and the lifeboat crew and a

helicopter team spent a further half an hour searching before finding a life

ring, which an onlooker may have mistaken for someone in the water.


By this time the lifeboat crew were north of Tintagel Head and the decision was

made to make for Boscastle to get the casualty to paramedics as quickly as

possible. The helicopter continued to search the area.

The lifeboat sustained

some damage during the rescue and with conditions building it was decided to

leave it in Boscastle overnight.


Christopher Key, who oversaw the arrival of the lifeboat, has now written to

Bob Bulgin, Chairman of the Port Isaac RNLI lifeboat station, thanking the crew

volunteers for their actions.

He said: ‘The weather conditions between Tintagel at Boscastle were appalling with high

winds and a heavy ground sea running at about eight to 10 feet swell size and

large sets of waves I would estimate as much as 14 feet, which were

breaking across the harbour mouth.

‘With the tide flooding the ground sea was

particularly aggressive.’


‘I have no doubt that the decision to enter Boscastle Harbour with the light

fading and nearly gone was extremely difficult and in my opinion the courage

and ability demonstrated by the crew, not only in the initial rescue but also

in safely navigating the entrance to Boscastle Harbour through heavy surf with

rocks littered all around, was of the highest calibre.

‘I know that the

crew selflessly put their own lives at very great risk last night.

‘On behalf of

my [Boscastle Harbour] association we appreciate their outstanding conduct.’


Mr Bulgin said: ‘I’m delighted that the Boscastle Harbour Master has sent the crew a letter of

thanks as their actions were truly selfless and very brave.

‘What’s more this

rescue just shows the extraordinary commitment of our volunteers who put to sea

in times of trouble, even when they may have other plans.

‘This is especially so

at times like this when the crew were probably planning their New Year’s Eve

celebrations with family and friends.

‘To be thanked and praised in this way

will mean a lot to everyone.’


The lifeboat was taken back to Port Isaac by road earlier yesterday and after some minor repairs was placed back on service yesterday

afternoon.