The historic vessel's wooden mast broke, sending the rigging and sails overboard

Four people on board a 100-year-old sailing
vessel Ruth called for help when the boat lost its main mast off the Cornish coast.

Lizard’s all-weather lifeboat launched just after 9.30am yesterday
morning, to attend the incident three
miles southwest of Lizard Point.

The Master of Ruth had
contacted Falmouth Coastguard requesting assistance when the Baltic Trading vessel’s
wooden mast broke, sending the rigging and sails overboard.

Once on scene
it was obvious to the lifeboat crew that the mast was far too big and
heavy to get back onboard and there was concern that if the Ruth‘s engine was started the rigging may foul her propeller.

Two Lizard lifeboat crew members were transferred onto the vessel to set up a towline.

It took more than four hours against the flood tide to tow the vessel
to Falmouth Harbour, where she was placed on a mooring.

Lifeboat station mechanic Dan Atkinson said: ‘Ruth is a lovely old wooden Baltic
Trading vessel. Her main mast collapsed and the Master had no other
option but to give the Coastguard a call for assistance. We set up a
line on board and towed her steadily to Falmouth.’

To find out more about The Lizard lifeboat station visit

Picture: Sailing vessel Ruth being towed into Falmouth Harbour. Credit: RNLI