Thurso RNLI endure over nine hours in rough seas to aid disabled fishing vessel
Thurso Lifeboat crew were tasked yesterday (Thursday 9 November 2017) by Shetland Coastguard to go to the aid of a fishing boat with six persons on board, which had fouled its propeller north of Whiten Head, off the north coast of Scotland in rough seas.
The Severn class lifeboat Roger and Joy Freeman (relief lifeboat 17-31) launched just after midday, on 9 November, from Scrabster Harbour with the crew strapped into their seats from the very start, for what was to be a rough bumpy passage west along the north coast. After battling against a westerly gale and heavy seas for 1 hour 45 minutes the lifeboat came alongside the stricken fishing vessel which was disabled and drifting in heavy seas. Although there was no immediate danger to the vessel, it had been drifting slowly towards the shore whilst the lifeboat was en route and was 2.5 miles north of Eilan nan Ron when the lifeboat arrived on scene just before 2pm.
Weather conditions and the sea state were not good throughout the day, with gale force 8 westerly winds and a large swell, which at times saw the crew facing waves of up to 8-10 metres, as well as heavy squalls of hail, sleet and rain. These weather conditions made for a long and difficult seven hour tow back to Scrabster Harbour. During the return to harbour the tow parted on 5 occasions, both during daylight and darkness.
After being at sea for 9 hours and 30 minutes the lifeboat took the casualty alongside at Scrabster Harbour, the crew then refuelled the lifeboat and made her ready for service again by 10.10pm.
The coxswain for the above service was Dougie Munro who recently received his 40 years service medal from the RNLI. Dougie is a younger brother of Wing Munro who retired a fortnight ago after almost 48 years service at Thurso RNLI. Between them the two brothers have clocked up nearly a century of service to Thurso Lifeboat.
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RNLI Press Office , 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.