RNLI Peterhead involved in epic rescue saving five lives

Lifeboats News Release

Peterhead Lifeboat launched tonight (February 5) in treacherous conditions to rescue a 160tonne fishing vessel which was seconds away from crashing into the rocks at Peterhead Breakwater.

The alarm was raised at 4.30pm when a fishing vessel was towing another fishing vessel into Peterhead Harbour and the tow broke numerous times due to the stormy weather conditions.

Tasked by HM Coastguard, the volunteer crew rushed to the Station, launched Peterhead’s Tamar-class lifeboat The Misses Robertson of Kintail and were on scene within minutes. The vessel was dangerously close to crashing into the rocks at Peterhead South Breakwater and due to an easterly gale and significant swell combined with a backwash the conditions were extremely challenging when the lifeboat arrived.

However, the crew established a tow at the first attempt and brought the fishing vessel and its crew back to safety in tough and time critical conditions, saving the five lives onboard.

It was Patrick Davidson’s first shout as Coxswain. He said: “This was a really tremendous effort by the crew showing great teamwork and seamanship by all involved in really difficult conditions. If we had arrived seconds later the boat would have hit the rocks and it may have been a different outcome.

“As soon as I saw how close she was to the rocks I immediately requested the helicopter - due to the perilous situation I realised we only had one attempt to get this right.

“The crew and the skipper of the boat could not thank the lifeboat enough and said they’d be forever grateful which makes all the effort worthwhile.

“There has been weather and flood warnings in place across Aberdeenshire today - the conditions were very dangerous but everyone worked together to ensure the safest outcome.”

Jurgen Wahle, Lifeboat Operations Manager, commended the crew for their quick and crucial efforts to save lives at sea. He said: “This was really a phenomenal performance by all involved, showcasing great leadership from Pat on his first shout as Coxswain and excellent teamwork from the rest of the crew.

“This was a critical incident and the effort from everyone on shore and at sea has resulted in five lives being saved. It is a tremendous outcome, and I’d like to commend the bravery displayed by the crew.”

RNLI Volunteer Crew members remain on call 365 days of the year, even in the current lockdown, to man the coasts and waters. This has meant adapting quickly to align with Government guidelines while ensuring they are still ready to respond when the pager sounds.

ENDS

Notes to editors

  • Peterhead lifeboat station been operating since 1865. The current Peterhead Lifeboat Station, the third built, was opened in 1999 and is staffed by one full-time RNLI employee.
  • The Lifeboat, a Tamar class RNLB Misses Robertson of Kintail, is berthed approximately 100 metres away.
  • To learn more about the station, go to: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeboat-stations/peterhead-lifeboat-station

RNLI media contacts

Stacey Lynch, Peterhead Lifeboat Press Officer, 07791729954, Stacey_Lynch@rnli.org.uk

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07920 365929, martin_macnamara@rnli.org.uk

Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07826 900639, gemma_mcdonald@rnli.org.uk

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

Peterhead Lifeboat rescue fishing vessel

RNLI Peterhead

Peterhead Lifeboat rescue fishing vessel
Peterhead Lifeboat rescue fishing vessel

RNLI Peterhead

Peterhead Lifeboat rescue fishing vessel

RNLI/Stacey Lynch

Peterhead Lifeboat rescue fishing vessel

RNLI Peterhead

Peterhead Lifeboat rescue fishing vessel

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.

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