Hartlepool RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew members have saved a 13 metre fishing boat that was just minutes away from sinking 8 miles off the Hartlepool coast.
The Aberdeen registered trawler with three people on board had contacted Humber Coastguard to request assistance when it began taking on water resulting in mechanical failure.
The RNLI volunteers were paged at 3.15pm on Tuesday 18th November and by 3.30pm both inshore and all weather lifeboats had launched and were alongside the casualty vessel at 3.50pm.
With sea conditions deteriorating a salvage pump and two crewmembers were transferred to the casualty vessel to begin pumping water from the flooded vessel.
The fishing boat was then taken under tow to Hartlepool Fish Quay where it arrived at 5.45pm and the salvage operation continued until a second pump was placed aboard allowing the RNLI crew and lifeboats to return to the Ferry Road lifeboat station at 6.30pm where both boats were refuelled and made ready for service by 7.00pm.
Hartlepool RNLI coxswain Robbie Maiden said 'Without our assistance I think the vessel would have been in serious trouble. Some great team work from the volunteer crewmembers in difficult conditions certainly helped save the fishing boat.'
Jake Oates who was one of the crewmembers who went aboard the fishing boat said 'The galley area of the fishing boat was flooded and debris floating around inside it made pumping the water out extremely difficult but along with crewmember Mark Crangle we managed to reduce the water level enough to allow the fishing boat crew to carry out repairs at the Fish Quay'.
Hartlepool RNLI Lifeboats Operations Manager Chris Hornsey said 'Once again an amazing response from the volunteer lifeboat crew with support by the shore crew and station officials brought the incident to a safe conclusion'.
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.