Mayday call springs Portishead RNLI volunteers in to action

Lifeboats News Release

After a busy morning training the volunteers were just getting home when the pagers sounded at 2.05pm. A call came in with reports that a motor vessel just north west of Clevedon Pier, was on fire.

Both RNLI Portishead in their Atlantic 85 and RNLI Barry Dock with their Trent class all weather lifeboat launched. The Portishead volunteers arrived to see that the owner of the vessel had managed to put out the fire. As the crew assessed the situation they were concerned that the couple may have been affected by the smoke.

Dave Hodges, volunteer helm from Portishead said: ‘On arrival we confirmed that the crew were safe and that the fire in the engine compartment had been extinguished. Due to a diesel leak and hot engine manifolds, however, as a precaution the 2 crew and their 2 dogs were evacuated onto the lifeboat. The casualty vessel was mid channel in a busy shipping lane and the crew were clearly distressed so they were conveyed to Portishead Marina to the care of the HM Coastguard. The lifeboat returned to escort the vessel home, which allowed our colleagues from Barry Dock to go back to station, available for redeployment.’

In the meantime with the casualty vessel, just as the volunteers from Barry Dock arrived to assist, another privately owned vessel joined the two crews to see if they could help. They had come over from Portishead Marina and had a marine engineer with them who managed to climb on board the stricken vessel. He was able to start the engine and as the Portishead volunteers arrived back to the boat, Barry Dock were able to return and the Portishead crew were able to escort them back to the marina.

The Atlantic 85 lifeboat, My Lady Anne was back on station and ready to go at 5.20pm. To watch or download the video and photos click this link  

RNLI notes to editors

Photos are all credit RNLI Portishead
1. Arriving back on dry land
2. Casualty, RNLI’s My Lady Anne, Support vessel
3. Crew volunteer with rescued dog
4. Coastguard with rescued dog

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For more information please contact Helen Lazenby, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07800 595995 or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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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, in a normal year, 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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