Dunbar and Anstruther Lifeboats Team Up For Fishing Boat Rescue
Dunbar’s volunteer lifeboat crew joined RNLI colleagues from Anstruther in assisting a fishing boat that was stranded without power early on Sunday morning (February 9).
Initially tasked at 2.25am to help tow the 20ft vessel into Pittenweem harbour, in Fife, both crews had to wait for the tide to turn and amid worsening conditions due to Storm Ciara finally moored the boat at nearby Methil over eight hours later.
The Ullapool registered vessel had lost its steering after setting sail from Eyemouth for a night’s fishing at midnight. When the crew shut down power to try and rectify the problem they found their engine had also failed. After making several attempts to restart their vessel the crew asked UK Coastguard for help.
Anstruther volunteers launched their Mersey class all weather lifeboat (ALB), located the vessel north east of the Isle of May and at around 1.30am began towing the fishing boat to Pittenweem harbour. They requested Dunbar provide assistance to act as a break when it came to manoeuvring the vessel into the harbour.
By 2.50am Dunbar’s all weather Trent class lifeboat launched and met up with Anstruther north west of the Isle of May a short while later. In an attempt to reach Pittenweem before the tide turned, Dunbar’s larger ALB took over the tow but by 4am it was clear, with an ebbing tide, that it would not be possible to safely enter the harbour. The decision was therefore taken to take the fishing boat to Methil, where the tide would be favourable at around 11am.
In worsening conditions, with three metre waves and high winds with gusts of up to 60mph, the two crews safely moored the boat in Methil harbour shortly after 11am.
Dunbar deputy second coxswain Gordon Mackay said: “We were more than happy to assist our RNLI colleagues at Anstruther. It was a tricky job in challenging conditions and we were delighted it went well.
Both crews were then stood down and by 2pm Dunbar’s ALB had returned to Torness where it was once again ready for service.
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.