Penlea Lifeboat

Did any one else watch the programme on the Penlea Lifeboat disaster last night. An object lesson in dedication and commitment for us all.



War Hero
An amazing example of bravery and unselfishness,
Bravery because when that boat launched every man jack of them knew what they were letting themselves in for.
Unselfishness because they were willing to risk their lives against insurmountable odds to save others.

Special people indeed. may they rest in peace.



War Hero
Damn, I meant to watch that and missed it.

Very brave people indeed and I have so much admiration for them all. One of the few organizations I will always bung a few quid in the charity pot for.
Couldn't agree more, we always bung money in for the RNLI. I was a teenager when it happened - it was very close to home, and I can remember sitting with my family listening to the scanner, with Falmouth coastguard trying to raise the lifeboat, and getting no reply. Still makes me go cold all over.
1981: Lifeboat crew missing after mission
A desperate search is underway for eight members of a life boat crew missing feared dead off the Cornish coast.

All contact has been lost with the crew of RNLI Penlee lifeboat, Soloman Browne, which was answering a distress call in treacherous weather conditions last night.

The men were giving assistance to Union Star whose crew reported engine failure eight miles east of Wolf Rock Lighthouse, south-west Cornwall.

Last contact with the Penlee crew was made last night shortly after reports it had rescued four of the eight people aboard the Union Star.

But this morning the vessel was found broken into small pieces.

Seven bodies have been recovered from the water.

The rescue attempt was taking place in winds coming from the south east at hurricane force 12, gusting to 90 knots and the sea reaching 60ft high.

Many of the crew, volunteers made up of fishermen among others, were from the close-knit fishing community of Mousehole.

Local men and those from neighbouring stations have joined a major sea and air search alongside a naval helicopter, life boats and fishing vessels.


They have been searching since the early hours of this morning and pledged to continue indefinitely despite waning hopes the men will be found alive.

The community is described as being 'numb with shock' as the Penlee lifeboat has been on station for 21 years and the crew were all experienced.

But the conditions last night were so poor that in spite many attempts a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter was unable to lift off any of the coaster's crew.

This morning the Union Star is upturned and washed ashore at the bottom of cliffs.

It is understood she launched from Denmark ten days ago and was travelling to Ireland with a cargo of fertilisers.

There is speculation the Solomon Browne may have collided with the hull of the Union Star, with many ruling out a capsize because this type of boat is subject to regular checks.

And at times they rescue silly people who never even take out a life jacket or enough fuel for there journey.

These are the people who should be praised in the honours lists not pathetic footballers and even more pathetic politicians.
Started to watch it but crimped on the couch and missed most of it. :(

Anyone know whether it will be repeated on BBC3 or BBC4? Can't find anything on t'internet


War Hero
BP1. The last line of your post I totally agree with. The lifeboatmen are exactly the people who SHOULD be recognised and name in honours lists instead of some of the usual suspects who cannot even spell RNLI.


Thank you lads for some heartwarming comments. I am a Navigator on Dungeness Lifeboat and I can assure you we all appreciate your thoughts;
Cheers to all of you.


War Hero
BrummyJack said:
Thank you lads for some heartwarming comments. I am a Navigator on Dungeness Lifeboat and I can assure you we all appreciate your thoughts;
Cheers to all of you.

RESPECT mate. I am originally from Hythe and know Dungerness fairly well. Bit deslote down there though ain't it. Keep up the good work and stay safe.


War Hero
You maybe right with regards the weather and yes, it does get bloody rough in that part of the world. But, you like hundreds of others are willing to put your lives on the line to save others and as I stated earlier - 'Respect'
I have great 'respect ' for the RNLI as well. Lost my 65ft Mfv in some horrible weather -long story but was very glad to see them.

I am definately all for them in everyway. I think the Government should back up the RNLI -its all done with voluntary contributions at the moment but for the service they provide its should be state aided .