Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Revisiting Penlee Lifeboat Paintings.

Carry Me Home.

35cm x 35cm x2cm. Mixed media on board

It’s hard to believe that it’s 30 years since the Penlee lifeboat disaster. It’s a subject I keep returning to in the disbelief of the heroism shown that night by the crew of the lifeboat.

On an entirely different note, the print fair for this weekend has had the Saturday cancelled, ‘due to circumstances beyond our control’. However the Sunday goes ahead as planned.

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.

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