Latest News from Penlee Lifeboat Station

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Penlee marks the passing of another of our family

Sadly we have to announce the passing of Shore helper William (Andrew) Perry



Penlee History book available

After 3 years of hard work our history book 'Service not Self' goes into print



Penlee marks the passing of another hero

Sadly we announce that retired Coxswain Ken Thomas has passed away



Planning Permission for our station!

Our Planning application has been put forward - YIPEE!



MV Juan Ferrer memorial dedicated

The only remaining survivor comes to Cornwall after 53 years



Lifesaving training to commercial fishermen

Penlee assists the RNLI fishing safety Officer in some training



Congratulations to our new mechanic

Congratulations to Marcel Le Bretton for passing out as a Lifeboat mechanic



Discarded EPIRB causes 2 lifeboat launches

EPIRB placed in a bin causes nightime search by Penlee and Sennen



Annual Rugby Match a huge success

Annual Charity Rugby Match is a win for everyone (But especially the RNLI)!



Mousehole AFC vs Penzance AFC

Charity Good Friday football Match raising funds for Penlee           



Stithians Ladies Choir raise funds for Penlee appeal

the Choir held a Christmas Carol Service raising funds


 For further news in our '2015 archive news' section please click here

 For further news in our '2016 archive news' section please click here

 For further news in our '2017 archive news' section please click here




02/08/17    top of page
Penlee marks the passing of another of our family

RNLI flags at Penlee are flying at half-mast again - remembering William Perry, known to us all as Andrew, who sadly passed away yesterday after a short illness.

Andrew, a Mousehole boy born and bred, was a giant of a man with an amazing sense of humour and a heart of gold. He was well respected by everyone who knew and worked with him.

Serving his time at Holman's, Andrew then worked for Trinity House on Lighthouses around the country. Like many Mousehole men he joined the Shore Crew at the old Penlee Lifeboat Station, helping to launch and rehouse the Solomon Browne lifeboat over many years.

Andrew was also a very active member of the Mousehole community, helping with the Christmas Lights and Harbour Sports. Many happy moments shared with Andrew are fondly remembered by the Mousehole Harbour Lights gang.

Our thoughts are with Andrew's family at this sad time. Rest in Peace big man, you'll never be forgotten another valued member of our lifeboat family has 'Crost the bar'.



24/07/17    top of page
Penlee History book available

After almost three years of hard work the new Penlee Lifeboat Station history book 'Service Not Self' written by Rachael Campey and researched by our Press Officer, Elaine Trethowan, is available!

At the moment you can purchase a copy priced at £8.95 from the lifeboat station in Newlyn, from the RNLI Shop, The Terrace, Penzance, the Queens Hotel, Penzance and The Old Coastguard at Mousehole. Other local sales outlets will follow.

For those of you who live further afield and are interested in purchasing a copy of the book please send us a private message.

Please spread the word and share



24/07/17    top of page
Penlee marks the passing of another hero

It is with a saddened heart that we inform you that retired Penlee Coxswain, Ken Thomas, has passed away. 


Ken was our Cox between 1981 and 1993, taking the helm immediately after the loss of the RNLB Solomon Browne and on several reserve fleet lifeboats, before finally having our own lifeboat, the 'Guy and Clare Hunter' in 1982. When the Arun class 'Mabel Alice' arrived in 1983 Kenny was her cox until passing over the reigns to Neil Brockman in 1993.


A well loved and respected Coxswain, our thoughts go out to his family at this time.



20/07/17    top of page
Planning Permission for our station!

Some really good news to share....

The RNLI have recently submitted a Planning Application for our new station building in Newlyn. This application marks the next stage of the RNLI's upgrade to provide modern crew facilities in Newlyn Harbour, including a larger Crew/Operational Room, Training Room, Changing Room, and Workshop.

The new station will also house a Visitor Engagement area allowing the RNLI to convey the sea safety message to locals and visitors alike and be constructed to allow greater community use of its facilities. The contemporary two-storey building is to be located on the same site as the existing station which will operate from temporary facilities during construction. With features in line with current RNLI operational standards and highly energy efficient, it will be timber clad with a monopitch roof and large timber windows enabling the RNLI to survey Newlyn Harbour and well out south and east into Mount's Bay and beyond.

Another big step in the right direction.



08/07/17    top of page
MV Juan Ferrer memorial dedicated

The final resting place of four Spanish sailors who perished after their 640-tonne Spanish coaster - the Juan Ferrer - ran aground on the rocks of Boscawen Point on October 23, 1963 has finally been marked with a memorial stone.

Only four of the 15 crew survived the tragedy after a south-westerly gale and poor visibility got them into trouble near Porthcurno. The radio was dead, the ships lifeboats were out of action and the Juan Ferrer, fatally gashed by the rocks, was sinking fast. Three of the crew knelt on the deck praying for help, the screams of the dying crew rang in the captain’s ears. They underlined his desperation. For he knew that he, too, must surely die before that terrible night was over. But Captain Luis Ruiz lived because of the volunteer crew of the Solomon Browne lifeboat. And afterwards he was able to explain what had made him cling to his life that night when his ship hit rocks off the Cornish Coast.

Eleven members of the stricken vessel's crew did not live to tell the tale of what happened next. Only four - including the 32-year old captain - could recount the desperate battle against a very angry sea. The survivors were taken to Newlyn Fishermen's Mission and, after being treated at West Cornwall Hospital, were flown back to Spain from London.

Seven recovered bodies of the sailors were transported back to Spain on the Juan Ferrer's sister coaster, but the remaining four that were found afterwards were buried in the Roman Catholic section of Penzance Cemetery. Manuel Corral Castiñera, 29, Carlos Coello De Castro, 31, Manuel Esperante Esperante, 41, and Domingo Vidal Blanco, 30 - whose son Domingo was only 12 months old at the time – lay in that unmarked grave until the memorial was recently bought and installed with the funds raised.

The unmarked grave was found whilst the new Penlee Lifeboat History book 'Service Not Self' was being researched by the Penlee Lifeboat Press & Heritage Officers, Elaine Trethowan and Martin Brockman. Elaine's father, 83-year-old Nim Bawden, and his friend Malvin McClary, were members of the Solomon Browne lifeboat crew from Penlee, who went to the sailors’ aid on that fateful night.

The only surviving member of the Juan Ferrer crew, 71-year-old Benito Mayo Núñez, travelled back to Cornwall to see the memorial stone for himself and to pay his respects. The dedication and blessing of the Juan Ferrer memorial stone took place on Saturday 8 July at Penzance Cemetery. Followed on Sunday 9 July with a visit to the wreck site onboard the Penlee all-weather lifeboat Ivan Ellen. A blessing carried out by the Penlee Lifeboat Chaplain, Julyan Drew, and Mr Nunez and his family placed a wreath in memory of those who perished at Boscawen Point.

RNLI Penlee Press Officer Elaine Trethowan said: 'It has been a very emotional journey. Two communities have been pulled together through a tragic event in 1963 - situations like this really do show the Internet and Facebook at its best - the reaction has been brilliant and we are so grateful for all the donations.’‘For my dad, who is now 83, and Malvin McClary, who were both part of the Solomon Browne crew that night, it's a reminder of the tragic event. It's touching to think that after all this time there are still people who remember and want to do something for those caught up in the tragedy.’

The Penlee Heritage team would like to thank all of those who helped put this weekend together, particularly a huge thank you to Longrock memorials for helping us place the memorial stone.



02/07/17    top of page
Lifesaving training to commercial fishermen

Photos: Amy Smith Photography

Penlee RNLI hosted a lifesaving training exercise for local commercial fisherman in Mount's Bay. Working with the RNLI Fishing Safety Officer, Dave Colmer, Penlee organised a series of realistic scenarios which aim to improve survival techniques and recovery procedures at sea.

Real-life sea conditions will ensure that the fishermen are fully aware of the dangers and challenges of man overboard situations. By giving these fishermen a taste of the potentially deadly impact that cold water shock can have in debilitating the body, we hope that they’ll be more likely to wear their personal floatation devices at sea to increase their chance of survival if they do fall overboard.



24/06/17    top of page
Congratulations to our new mechanic

The Volunteers at the Penlee Branch are very pleased to congratulate one of our volunteer crew members, Marcel Le Bretton, (seen on the left).

Marcel passed out as a lifeboat mechanic. He has worked really hard to achieve this goal and is a credit to our station.

Well done from us all Marcel!



15/05/17    top of page
Discarded EPIRB causes 2 lifeboat launches

The emergency distress beacon (EPIRB) which sparked the launch of RNLI Penlee & Sennen lifeboat's during the early hours has been located.

It was found earlier by the Newlyn Harbour Master in a metal bin on the North Pier. These beacons are activated when they get wet and the heavy rain in Newlyn overnight caused it to go off.

It is now at Penlee Lifeboat Station and has been deactivated.

We urge all boat owners to dispose of EPIRB's with care, consideration and attention. If in doubt make contact with your local RNLI station.



13/05/17    top of page
Annual Rugby Match a huge success

Congratulations goes to the RNLI who have claimed the trophy back this year 🏆 With a scoreline of 29-10.

A massive thank you to everyone that attended, donated & made the event possible..

We're still counting the donations, but it's looking like our best year so far



14/04/17    top of page
Mousehole AFC vs Penzance AFC

A great turn out for the Good Friday football match at Trungle Parc - Mousehole AFC against nearby rivals Penzance AFC.

It was a great game with Penzance taking the honours 2-1.

Really nice to see the RNLI & Seagulls flags flying high over the ground.

Both sets of supporters were extremely generous, buying raffle tickets and donating money in our RNLI buckets - you raised a staggering £358.24 - THANK YOU



11/03/17    top of page
Stithians Ladies Choir raise funds for Penlee appeal

We welcomed 25 members of the Stithians Ladies Choir to Penlee Lifeboat Station where they presented a big fat cheque for £1,000 to Coxswain Patch Harvey.

This money was raised at a poignant Christmas Carol Service commemorating the 34th anniversary of the loss of the Solomon Browne lifeboat at St Stythians Church ~ all those attending generously donated £1,000 towards our appeal.

After a guided tour around the station and the Ivan Ellen lifeboat, the ladies retired to the boathouse for a brew with the crew and a Cream Tea kindly provided by Barbara Hosken-Johns.