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Ramsey RNLI launched to locate unmanned fishing vessel

Lifeboats News Release

Ramsey RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew launched this morning, Sunday 20 November, at 5.45am after the UK Coastguard was alerted to an unmanned fishing vessel adrift approximately 10 miles east of Ramsey.

The unmanned fishing vessel had been under tow by another fishing vessel, from the Isle of Man to Workington, when the tow parted. Workington RNLI lifeboat was also tasked to the scene and search area.

Ramsey RNLI lifeboat, with coxswain Mark Kenyon at the helm, located the drifting, unlit and unmanned vessel at 6.40am. Two of Ramsey’s crew were put aboard the vessel and a tow to the lifeboat was safely established.

Meanwhile, Workington lifeboat located and transferred one of its crew members to the single-manned vessel that had been towing the fishing boat before the tow parted.

Ramsey lifeboat and tow rendezvoused with Workington lifeboat at 7.25am. Workington lifeboat transferred two of their crew members to the vessel being towed and the tow was transferred from Ramsey to Workington lifeboat. Ramsey’s two crew members were then recovered back to their own lifeboat.

Workington lifeboat, with one fishing vessel in tow and escorting the single-manned fishing vessel, returned to Workington.

Ramsey lifeboat then stood down and returned home to Ramsey, arriving at 8.20am. The lifeboat was recovered, rehoused, refuelled and back on-call by 9.00 am.

Coxswain Mark Kenyon said afterwards: ‘Towing can be difficult even in good conditions, to attempt it single handed in the dark with an unlit tow was, with hindsight, probably not one of the skipper’s best decisions. Once the tow parted the single handed skipper was unable to re-establish it due to fatigue and sea conditions. So rather than leave an unlit vessel drifting the coastguard requested that we find and recover it.’

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland