40th Anniversary of the Penlee Lifeboat Disaster


Jan 3, 2018
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The 19th December 2021 was the 40th Anniversary of the disaster involving the Penlee Lifeboat which claimed the lives of 16 men, the crew aboard the Solomon Browne lifeboat and the crew aboard the Union Star vessel whose engines had failed. On this day Mousehole villagers gathered at the harbourside at 6p.m to show their appreciation to the families of the crew of the Solomon Browne, while other residents of Mousehole were asked to light a candle and place it in a window as a beacon to light the way to the harbour. The words of the pilot of the naval rescue helicopter involved in the operation say it all:

“The greatest act of courage that I have ever seen, or am ever likely to see, was the penultimate courage and dedication show by the Penlee (crew) when it manoeuvred back alongside the casualty in over 60-foot breakers and rescued four people shortly after the Penlee had been bashed on top of the casualty’s hatch-covers. They were truly the bravest eight men I have ever seen, who were also totally dedicated to upholding the highest standards of the RNLI.”

Penlee lifeboat Solomon Browne heroes and ritual to mark their bravery - Free Chat Rooms