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Far Cough 8:45 Tue Sep 18
Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
Just read about this as I must have been working abroad when this happened.

Absolute atrocious conditions of the Cornwall coast near Mousehole which led to the death of all hands on both the Union Star and RNLB Solomon Browne 16 in total.

I have always had the utmost respect for the sea having worked on ships for ten years but the heroism shown by the RNLI crew on board the Solomon Browne, deserves the utmost respect.

I'm just wondering how it was received over here in the UK at the time?

RIP to all that died

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penlee_lifeboat_disaster

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeIX0VnUMKo

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

w4hammer 11:51 Fri Sep 21
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
watched that documentary on BBc4 the other night- amazing and humbling, really.

Eddie B 10:59 Fri Sep 21
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
Terrible to here that, Oxshaw.

isca hammer 10:34 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
And within a day of the disaster enough people from Mousehole had volunteered to form a new lifeboat crew.

Amazing.


As for Sold`s reference to the SS Pendleton rescue, brave men indeed, but the US Coastguard are one of the yanks Armed Services with massive government backing, not volunteers like those men that fateful night.

Far Cough 10:08 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
Kernowyon are a proud seafaring people, an absolute tragedy befell those peoples on that fateful night

Toe Rag 9:39 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
Amazing and tragic story.

The Coxwain, Trevelyan Richards wouldn’t let the son of Nigel Brockman go along as crew as he must have known that death was out there that night and didn’t want 2 members of the same family not coming home.

There’s a saying amongst the Cornish lifeboat crews which goes along the lines of “You have to go, you don’t have to come back”

Brave, brave men. I love the sea but it gives me the fear.

MrBen 9:31 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
The Captain of the Union Star made an unauthorised pick-up beforehand - his pregnant wife and his two step-daughters.

Very good bbc doc, made to commemorate the 25th anniversary https://youtu.be/yeIX0VnUMKo

Far Cough 8:32 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
I doubt that a tow would have worked in those late conditions, the waves were tremendous, any tow would have snapped like piece of string.

If he had accepted the initial offer from the tug, then it might have worked, that is as soon as the captain realised his fuel tanks were fouled with seawater

Mike Oxsaw 8:17 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
One of the few times that a loss of life has had a direct benefit oh, well, society as a whole. Some comfort there, I guess.

Far Cough 8:15 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
Correct

, 8:13 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
Nowadays a ship in trouble that has no motive power can be forced to accept a tow. And rightly so.

Far Cough 8:10 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
Mate I worked on ships for ten years, the captain is God on board, yes he is ultimately answerable to the owners but only he has the authority to order abandon ship, because he is where the ship is and not in the comfort of some city office block

Mike Oxsaw 8:06 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
They were on the lifeboat. They worked at Goonhilly.

I'm sure we both know how rules can be interpreted. Even if the captain has sole authority, his decision making will be "influenced" by the wishes of his employers.

Far Cough 8:03 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
No not really, you were referring to why they didn't abandon ship, you said the owners probably told him no, I don't know if you are aware of the rules at sea? the captain has sole authority on whether to abandon ship or not, the owners don't come into it


So which vessel were your two friends on?, bearing in mind the total lives lost were 16, 8 from the Solomon Browne and 8 from the Union Star

Mike Oxsaw 7:17 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
Far Cough 6:56 Wed Sep 19

Which simply proves my case. The owners, probably hoping things would get no worse, delayed until it was clearly too late to make any other decision. It was that delay, made in a nice, cosy environment, that killed my two friends.

I could have done with not being reminded of all this, to be quite honest.

Far Cough 6:56 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
I doubt that was the reason at all Oxsaw, the captain did ask the owners if they should accept assistance from the tug under Lloyd's Open Form salvage, they initially said no but agreed later on but by then, the conditions were too bad to take a towline which would have snapped anyway and the seas were too rough to abandon ship especially as they knew the lifeboat and a helicopter were on their way

Rules changed after this incident that allows the coastguard to call a tug on it's own authority, leaving no discussions with owners to muddy the waters

Claret Badger 6:51 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
The disaster prompted a massive public appeal for the benefit of the village of Mousehole which raised over 3 million (10.6 million as of 2016),[6] although there was an outcry when the government tried to tax the donations


nice one Thatcher

Mike Oxsaw 6:44 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
Lost two friends in this.

Pissed me off big time to find out that it was all down to the captain leaving it until the last possible minute to abandon ship (probably) under orders from the ships owners.

Claret Badger 6:41 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
Northern Sold 2:11 Wed Sep 19

fuck Americans

Far Cough 6:40 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
Mousehole Sold, MOUSEHOLE

Pronounced Mouzle

Spandex Sidney 5:39 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
John Prescott was never a QC?! Surely?!

Lertie Button 5:08 Wed Sep 19
Re: Penlee lifeboat disaster 19 December 1981
Can only speak for our local lifeboat but there are and always have been a lot of big characters and big egos among the crew.
But in my experience heroes tend to be difficult individuals, - another local hero Harry Gregg (of the Munich Air disaster) could still start a fight in an empty room well into his 80s, must be something in the physique

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