Video shows moment brave lifeboat crews arrive to aid huge ship grounded by lighthouse


Heart-pounding video has emerged of the moment brave lifeboat crews arrived at the scene of a massive cargo ship that had grounded on rocks by a lighthouse off the Cornish coast.

Footage from the RNLI boat from Sennen Cove, Cornwall, records when rescuers arrived to assist the 31,000-tonne Mazarine vessel that had lost power and grounded on Wolf Rock Lighthouse nine miles off Land’s End on Monday.

The 640-foot-long ship, with 22 crew on board, was perilously perched on the massive rocks and had already sustained damage.

The Scillonian Ferry, which was taking passengers from Penzance to St Mary’s on the Scilly Isles, also answered the distress call and was cruising nearby as the drama unfolded from around 9am.

The RNLI it launched all-weather lifeboats from stations at Sennen Cove, Penlee, The Lizard and Falmouth lifeboat stations with a total of 28 RNLI crew onboard who went on to spend 15 hours at sea.

In a video taken from the Penlee lifeboat the sheer scale of what faced the crews becomes clear as they approach the 135-foot lighthouse which itself is dwarfed by the stranded Mazarine.

Luckily none of the crew were reported injured in the incident and the massive vessel dislodged from the rocks before being towed to Falmouth for repairs and checks.

Penlee’s RNLI Coxswain Patch Harvey said: “It's a distance of about 14 miles from Newlyn to Wolf Rock, and with the south westerly wind touching force 7 on our bow, it was a pretty uncomfortable trip out there but with the possibility of having to evacuate crew from the casualty vessel we were going full speed to get there quickly.”

Sennen Cove’s RNLI Coxswain, Ollie George said that crews were prepared for a “very difficult situation” when they reached the scene.

The Mazarine's operators CLdN said the 22 crew and three passengers on board the vessel were safe and unharmed, according to the BBC.

CLdN said the ballast tanks on the cargo ship had been damaged but there had been no pollution and the vessel was "stable"

A Maritime and Coastguard spokesperson told "A tug, escorted by firstly the Lizard RNLI lifeboat and then Falmouth’s, towed the vessel east of the Lizard where it remains while relevant inspections are carried out in sheltered waters."

The Isles of Scilly steamship company added that the Scillonian ferry which takes passengers between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly had to make "a detour to Wolf Rock this morning and was on standby to support a vessel in distress".

Trinity House, which owns and operates the lighthouse, said it was aware of the incident. A spokesperson said: "There were no Trinity House personnel on the lighthouse at the time."

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