Bembridge RNLI's All-Weather Lifeboat assists a 24m trawler off Southsea
'RNLB Alfred Albert Williams' (Tamar All-Weather Lifeboat 16-17) assists a 24m 220 ton trawler acting as a Guard Ship to the IFA2 cable laying project that grounded on the submarine barrier between Horse Sand Fort and Southsea sea front.
She was launched at the request of UK (Solent) Coastguard at just after 3pm yesterday afternoon (12 November) to assist the Guard-Ship
Sharon Vale with 5 crew onboard that had run aground on the western side of the submarine barrier between Horse Sand Fort and Southsea sea front after her engines had failed and she had been unable to put an anchor down in time to stop her drifting eastwards with the wind & tide until she came up against the concrete blocks of the barrier.
It did not take long for the Alfred Albert Williams to reach the trawler, get alongside and to put two of her crew members onboard to assess the situation. It emerged that the collision with the block damaged the trawler which was taking on water which they were able to just contain using her own pumps. In deteriorating conditions, UK (Solent) CG endeavoured to get the crew of the trawler to abandon ship, however the skipper felt the situation was still containable, although he did agree to two of his crew transferring to the Alfred Albert Williams.
At around 8pm the trawler refloated and drifted eastwards away from the barrier towards Langstone and after a short period her crew managed to drop an anchor. Meanwhile Yarmouth RNLI's Seven Class Lifeboat had been tasked to assist and to act as a guard over night. Once she arrived on station the Alfred Albert Williams was released and having taken the two crew members from the trawler to the Camber in Portsmouth returned to Bembridge and was recovered by 9.45pm.
A marine surveyor and a diver were due to be taken out to the trawler yesterday evening; in the meantime the Queen's Harbour Master has directed that the vessel is not to be moved without his authority.
Overnight, Yarmouth RNLI's Lifeboat was relieved by Selsey RNLI's Shannon Class All-Weather Lifeboat which in turn was relieved by the Alfred Albert Williams at around 5.30am this morning (13 November). She was subsequently relieved by Yarmouth RNLI at around 12.30pm and returned to Bembridge and was recovered by 1pm. A decision by appropriate authorities on what will be done with the trawler over the next 12 hours is awaited.
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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.