A fishing vessel with two fishermen on board in danger of sinking was assisted by Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat on Easter Monday morning when it lost power after taking on water.
The skipper of the trawler Charisma made a distress call to UK Coastguard at 11:20am after his boat started taking on water which also disabled his engine. The two fishermen on board stemmed the water ingress but couldn't restart their engine, leaving the vessel with her nets still in the water, drifting 12 nautical miles south east of the Tyne piers. Sea conditions were good with only a moderate breeze.
UK Coastguard's Humber Operations Centre immediately paged Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat which launched seven minutes later, making best speed to the 9.9m, 15tonne North Shields-based
Charisma and due to the risk that the vessel could sink a Coastguard Rescue Helicopter from Humberside was also tasked.
The offshore support vessel Highland Prestige was nearby and stood by the
Charisma, ready to assist if the situation worsened.
The lifeboat reached the stranded fishing boat at 11:58 and the volunteer crew assessed the situation. Two of the crew boarded the fishing boat and the lifeboat's portable salvage pump was passed across to them. They pumped the seawater out of the
Charisma and found that there was no more water entering her. As there was little risk of the boat sinking the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter was stood down while still en-route.
The fishing vessel was now out of immediate danger but the lifeboat was unable to tow her and her crew to safety while her nets were in the water so the lifeboat crew and fishermen attempted to retrieve them by getting power to the fishing boat's winch.
The nets were brought back on to the Charisma at 1pm and the fishermen had managed to restart their engine as a result of attempting to get power to the winch so instead of towing her the lifeboat escorted her back to North Shields as a precaution against her taking on water or her engine stopping again.
The lifeboat and Charisma arrived safely at North Shields fish quay at 3.05pm and once the fishing boat was on the quay the lifeboat refuelled and returned to station, arriving at 3.30pm, four hours after launching.
Adrian Don, Spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI, said: 'Initially it was thought that the
Charisma could sink and the first priority was to get to the two fishermen on board as fast as possible so our lifeboat and a Coastguard Rescue Helicopter were tasked by UK Coastguard as a matter of urgency.
'Thankfully the fishermen stopped the water leak and got their engine restarted but were still twelve miles out at sea and at risk of becoming stranded again. Our volunteer lifeboat crew members used their training, experience and teamwork to make sure the situation got no worse and to help the fishing boat return to safety.'
For more information:
Please contact Adrian Don, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07834 731833 or at
Photo captions: 17 April 2017 Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat assists the fishing vessel
Charisma after she took on water, suffered engine failure and became stranded at sea. Please credit RNLI/Andrew S King
Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station
was established in 1862 although there have been lifeboats on the river Tyne since the world's first purpose built lifeboat was launched here in 1790. The station has 30 volunteer crew members who come from all walks of life. We operate two lifeboats: The Severn class all weather lifeboat Spirit of Northumberland
and our D class inshore lifeboat Mark Noble
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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