St Ives: Cornwall crowds leave lifeboat crews struggling to respond to emergencies

St Ives in Cornwall
Like many other areas of Cornwall, St Ives has seen a huge increase in the number of visitors this summer. Credit: PA

Lifeguard crews in St Ives say they are struggling to respond to emergency calls because of how busy the town is with tourists.

Like many other areas of Cornwall, St Ives has seen a huge increase in the number of visitors this summer as people opted to holiday in the UK rather than go abroad because of coronavirus restrictions.

But the crowds have been so dense they have been slowing down the local lifeboat crews. Sometimes, even the lifeboat slipway is busy.The St Ives Lifeboat team is now asking people to make way for them when they are responding to emergencies.

A spokesperson said: "It's busy in town, and some of our crew have been struggling to get through the crowds and down to the station when the pager goes off.

"So to help us get to the station quickly to launch our lifeboats, we need your help.

"If you hear a loud repetitive pager sounding, you will then see people making their way towards the lifeboat station, they could be on foot or maybe riding bikes/scooters or driving towards the station, please help us by letting them through.

"Once we arrive at the station, if the area is busy we use a siren to alert people close by that the lifeboat is preparing to launch. When you hear the siren, we please ask that you make your way off the lifeboat slipway, as our dedicated volunteers are preparing to launch the lifeboat to an emergency situation at sea.

"Our volunteer team may kindly ask you to move off the slipway, please respect their request and do your bit to help us save lives. There are plenty of vantage points around the whole harbour to safely watch the lifeboats launch and recover.

"Every moment can be crucial for us to launch our lifeboats and get out to any emergencies. Thanks to everyone and your continued support."