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Tynemouth and Cullercoats RNLI rescue a vessel in distress

Lifeboats News Release

On Wednesday 6th June, while returning from exercise, Tynemouth Lifeboat crew were requested to launch and assist a vessel with engine failure.

RNLI/Anna Heslop

Gren Sowerby Photography

The 19ft vessel, ‘Violet,’ had suffered mechanical failure and required assistance from the lifeboat. Although the inshore D-class lifeboat was on scene within five minutes, the tide had quickly pushed the casualty vessel dangerously close to the South Tyne Pier. As the D-class approached with two crew members onboard, the casualty vessel was washed up onto the side of the pier, leaving it high and dry. With the situation quickly becoming more severe, Tynemouth Lifeboat requested the assistance of Cullercoats Lifeboat, who had recently launched on exercise.

Luckily, as Cullercoats Lifeboat sped to the scene, another wave washed the casualty vessel back off the pier. From there, Tynemouth Lifeboat crew were able to establish a tow and bring the vessel to safety away from the pier. Cullercoats Lifeboat put one crew member onboard the vessel to assess the two persons onboard and stood by Tynemouth Lifeboat crew as they conducted the tow. Both persons were unharmed, wearing life jackets and thankful for the assistance of the crews. They had raised the alarm using a mobile phone, however we would recommend that all vessels carry a marine VHF radio as transmissions can be monitored by other vessels in the area. The vessel was taken to Royal Quays Marina and the two persons were provided with further safety advice. Once everyone was safe, both crews were stood down and returned to exercise.

All of the crew members at Tynemouth and Cullercoats are volunteers, as are 95% of the wider RNLI charity. Each crew member carries a pager, which alerts them to a ‘shout,’ and is willing to respond at any hour of the day or night with the sole purpose of saving lives at sea.

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.