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Fowey RNLI lifeboat rescues fishing boat trapped by its own gear near rocks

Lifeboats News Release

On 13 April mid-morning a fisherman radioed the Coastguard for assistance having tailpiped his five metre open fishing boat.

Tailpiping is when the propeller of the boat gets caught in the ropes from the fishing gear.

Maurice and Joyce Hardy, Fowey’s Trent Class all-weather RNLI lifeboat, was launched with seven volunteer crewmembers on board to rescue the Boy Jowan which was anchored by its own crab pots to the sea bed with no way to free itself.  The lifeboat arrived on scene within 20 minutes of being called to find the fisherman fending his boat off the rocks with a boat hook

The fishing gear had been blown much closer to the land than it had been set during the storms over the weekend and this had made picking it all up far more difficult.

On arrival a rope was thrown to the casualty from the bow of the lifeboat and the vessel was dragged away from the rocks.  The inflatable XP boat had been made ready in case close work was needed with two volunteers in dry-suits, but the tow worked.

The fishing boat was moored alongside the lifeboat with its stern by the lifeboat’s bow to avoid risking the Trent’s own propeller. The gear was then retrieved from the sea bed, at first by hand and then using a grappling hook and the capstan on the bow of the Trent.

The boat was then towed into Gorran and tied to the inner quay and the gear was dropped nearby where it would dry out and be salvageable as the tide dropped.

Coxswain Jonathan Pritchard said, 'We were delighted to help such a well prepared and well equipped casualty. He made the task of rescuing him so much safer and easier.'

The volunteer crewmembers then returned the Maurice and Joyce Hardy to Fowey and were ready for service at 11.30am.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Cath Ellis, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Fowey RNLI on 07969 693218. For urgent calls out of hours please contact the Duty RNLI Press Officer on 01202 336789.   

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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