Three RNLI lifeboats launch to assist five people onboard sinking fishing boat
Three RNLI lifeboats were launched last night (Tuesday 28 May) at the request of Belfast Coastguard after reports that a fishing vessel with five people onboard was rapidly taking on water and in need of assistance off the Isle of Man.
The volunteer crew at Donaghadee RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat Saxon at 6.07pm and made good speed in a northerly force 5 moderate sea. Peel RNLI’s lifeboat Ruby Clery was also launched at 6.07pm from their station on the Isle of Man, followed by Portaferry RNLI’s inshore lifeboat at 6.46pm.
The fishing boat was located approximately 21 nautical miles west of Peel on the Isle of Man. The crew had requested assistance when their own salvage pumps failed to cope with the intake of water through the stern of the vessel.
In a fresh northerly Force 5 wind and moderate sea conditions, Donaghadee RNLI was on scene at 7.02pm. At this time the crew of the fishing vessel had managed to lower the water level using their own pumps and were happy to be escorted into Portavogie Harbour by Donaghadee and Portaferry RNLI’s lifeboats.
Speaking following the call out, Donaghadee RNLI Coxswain John Ashwood said: ‘The quick thinking of the experienced skipper of the vessel to request assistance early is commendable. He realised that they may not get the issue under control and allowed ample time for the lifeboats to get to himself and his crew. It was a good outcome that they were able to return to harbour safe and well.
‘We would remind everyone planning a trip to sea to always respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket and always carry a means of communication. Should you get into difficult, call 99 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’
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.