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Kilkeel RNLI respond to Mayday in early hours to help fishing vessel crew

Lifeboats News Release

Kilkeel RNLI responded to a Mayday in the early hours of yesterday morning (Sunday 24 February) after a fishing vessel got into difficulty.

RNLI/Leslie Campbell

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.’

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