Silloth and Workington lifeboats assist scallop dredger stuck on sandbank
On Wednesday 4 December at 4:20am Silloth RNLI lifeboat was tasked to attend a Scallop Dredger which was stuck on a sand bank approximately three miles off Allonby, in the middle of the Solway Firth.
It was a neap tide and although high water, the sea level was quite low. The weather conditions were quite poor being a force 5, with a South Easterly wind and a strong swell.
Silloth Atlantic 85 lifeboat was launched at 4:25am arriving on scene alongside the dredger, some 25 minutes later. Workington RNLI all-weather lifeboat was also tasked to assist in the recovery of the casualty vessel, as it is a much larger and more powerful lifeboat. Initially Silloth inshore lifeboat attached a tow line to the dredger in an attempt to stop it drifting further onto the sandbank, until Workington all-weather lifeboat arrived.
Workington RNLI lifeboat were on scene approximately 10 minutes later and attached a tow line to the dredger, attempting to pull the casualty vessel off the sandbank. However by this time the tide was on the ebb and receding quickly. Unfortunately it soon became apparent that the 13 metre dredger was so entrenched in the sandbank that it could not be moved until the next high tide. Workington all-weather lifeboat subsequently returned to their station but Silloth lifeboat remained on scene, ensuring the skipper who was still on board the dredger, stayed safe and well until the Coastguard helicopter could evacuate him. The skipper was subsequently brought to Silloth by the helicopter.
Silloth lifeboat returned to station at 11:40. The scallop dredger is now safely moored in Silloth dock.
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, 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.