Kilkeel RNLI respond to Mayday in early hours to help fishing vessel crew
Kilkeel RNLI responded to a Mayday in the early hours of yesterday morning (Sunday 24 February) after a fishing vessel got into difficulty.
Kilkeel RNLI's volunteer crew including helm Gerry Smyth, Andrew McConnell, Mark McCullough and Robert Tomkins launched the inshore lifeboat and responded to the Mayday call at 5.40am. The fishing boat had lost propulsion about half a mile off the Kilkeel Harbour in very foggy conditions.
The crew quickly located the vessel and having spoken to the skipper, the helm decided to put crew member Andrew McConnell aboard to safely secure a tow rope.
The fishing boat was safely towed in and was assisted in berthing by the Coastguard team.
The crew returned safely to the boathouse at 6.25am.
Speaking following the call out, Kilkeel RNLI Helm Gerry Smyth said: ‘The call out was something our volunteers train for on a regular basis but this time the foggy conditions and the low tide made the tow more difficult than usual. The lifeboat crew were delighted to help and handled the call out in a thoroughly professional manner. We wish the fishermen well.’
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.