The `City of London III` launched at 0318 to assist the cargo vessel `Lady Alida` - engine failure and drifting towards the shore, 4 miles south of the Gwennap Head, Porthgwarra. 7 Persons on board.
Penlee Lifeboat also tasked, and both lifeboats arrived on scene at 0340 and proceeded to attach tow ropes to the vessel in darkness and difficult conditions.
The Lady Alida was under tow, very slowly to seawards, roughly 30 minutes after the lifeboat crews had been awakened by their pagers.
At 0525, with the ship now some 5 miles offshore, the vessel dropped her anchor to await the arrival of a tug - and the lifeboats were released, both proceeding to Newlyn for a cup of tea. Coastguard rang to say ship dragging anchor and lifeboats required again. Lifeboats left Newlyn at 0630, back with Lady Alida at 0710. Both lifeboats again attached tows - a bit easier in daylight - and crept the ship to seaward until the arrival of the salvage tug `Alp Central` at 1230.
Lifeboats released at 1250 and `City of London III` returned to the Cove and recovered up the long slip at 1345. The Lady Alida under tow for Falmouth by the Alp Central.
Weather - heavy rain at times; wind west-southwest force 5-6 with a moderate sea and 3-4 metre swell.
A classic operation whereby two lifeboats assisted in saving the ship - putting their combined 4000hp to good effect. Lots of challenges towing in tandem, keeping the lifeboats close together etc. Superb deckwork by both crews in `rolly` conditions ... and as always, and despite the constant leg-pulling, a great pleasure to work with our colleagues at Penlee.