LOOE RNLI volunteers assisted in the rescue of two people who were stranded on a beach near Whitsand Bay on Saturday (February 24) after being cut off by the tide.

Falmouth Coastguard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre received a 999 call from two people, with two dogs, who were cut off by the tide in a cove at Tregonhawke.

The casualties reported the tide was coming in fast, rapidly covering the beach and there was no safe exit route up the cliff face. When asked about the sea conditions they described large waves breaking close to shore.

It was reported that after discussing the incident with the duty launch authority, Looe RNLI volunteer crew were paged at 2.41pm and tasked to assess and assist the casualties if possible.

Within 11 minutes the charity’s Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II and D Class Ollie Naismith II were launched and crews made best speed in poor sea conditions towards the casualties’ location.

Arriving on scene, the crews encountered large wave sets and a heavy shore dump close to the beach. Looe, Tamar and Plymouth Coastguard rescue teams, who had arrived at the cliff top, informed our crews that they could not see the casualties below and a rope rescue down the cliff face would be difficult.

After reporting the sea and cliff conditions back to Falmouth MRCC the helm considered the safest method of extraction would be by helicopter and requested the tasking of a HMCG helicopter.

Rescue 924 was already airborne over the Lizard and was duly tasked, arriving on scene some 14 minutes later. The crews stood by offshore providing safety cover whilst the winchman was dropped onto the beach to assess the casualties. They were then winched to the waiting coastguard rescue teams on the cliff top.

With the casualties safe in the care of the coastguard rescue teams, the lifeboats were stood down to return to station.

Whilst this shout was in progress the lifeboat press officer received a message from his opposite number at RNLI Staithes and Runswick Lifeboat Station.

A spokesperson from Looe RNLI explained: “Staithes and Runswick operate our sister Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue III which was launched on service 20 minutes before her sibling Atlantic 85.

“Even though our lifeboat stations are some 340 miles apart, it is very unusual for two of the four lifeboats funded through a legacy left to the RNLI by Sheila and Dennis Tongue to be launched on service at the same time.

“The other two Atlantic 85’s funded by their very generous legacy are operated by RNLI colleagues at Sligo Bay (Sheila and Dennis Tongue) and Loch Ness (Sheila and Dennis Tongue IV ) Lifeboat Stations.”