Santa has to take ferry back from Rathlin as Red Bay RNLI lifeboat crew are diverted to trawler rescue

Santa had to make his own way back from Rathlin Island this afternoon (Sunday 19 December) after volunteer lifeboat crew from Red Bay RNLI were diverted to go to the aid of fishing trawler after its propeller became snagged in nets. The 25-metre trawler with six crew on board was six miles northeast of Rathlin Island when it request ed assistance. Thankfully the lifeboat crew were nearby as they had delivered Santa to Rathlin Island during their weekly training exercise.

Santa looking out to sea from the bridge of the Rathlin ferry

Unfortunately, it meant that Santa had to take the ferry back to Ballycastle as the lifeboat crew immediately made their way to the trawler and carried out the rescue mission. the trawler had snagged its nets round its propellor, the lifeboat crew took the vessel under tow to Ballycastle in a four-hour operation.

Commenting on the callout Red Bay RNLI Coxswain Joe Mc Collam said, ‘We were sorry to leave Santa to make his own way home from Rathlin but we knew we were leaving him in very good hands with the local ferry crew. The snagged trawler was in some difficulty and the crew were not able to move the vessel. That area can be quite treacherous, and they needed to be brought to a safe harbour. Thankfully the lifeboat crew were nearby and able to bring them to Ballycastle. We also heard that Santa had a safe and enjoyable journey back from Rathlin and is looking forward to Christmas.’ 

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Further information please contact Paddy McLaughlin Red Bay RNLI Tel: 078 02 308821 or Niamh Stephenson, RNLI Media Manager on 00353 871254124 or [email protected] or Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer on 00353 876483547 or [email protected]

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Trawler being towed by the Red Bay lifeboat
Trawler being towed by the Red Bay lifeboat

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