Thirty four years ago today we lost eight very brave, fearless & selfless lifeboatmen from our RNLI family, the heroic lifeboatmen of Penlee. On 19 December 1981, the Penlee Lifeboat went to the aid of the coaster Union Star after its engines failed in heavy seas. After the lifeboat had managed to rescue four people, both vessels were lost with all hands; in all, sixteen people died including eight volunteer lifeboatmen. The village of Mousehole always douses it's Christmas lights this night as a mark of respect. Their courage, dedication, determination, valour and heroism serves as a beacon to us all.
This afternoon after the weather became more stormy, the 'Ivan Ellen' lifeboat was relaunched from Newlyn to help & assist the Dutch tug 'MTS Viscount' with a tow connection to the container ship 'Samskip Express', which was at anchor about three miles off Porthleven but drifting. This was not a good night for the lads at Penlee to be called out. Thankfully, they have returned safe and well.
Two rock-torn boats drift
Then swallowed by ripped, black waves
Haunted hornpipe song
Played by sea-claimed men
Solomon Browne, Union Star
Never seen again