Collision between Tanker and Fishing vessel gives Selsey RNLI an early start

Lifeboats News Release

The pagers sounded at 3.08am on Friday 12 February after the UK Coastguard received a Mayday call from the the fishing vessel stating they were taking on water after a collision with a tanker.

The Selsey all-weather lifeboat (ALB) launched at 3.26am and made best speed to the position of the Belgium trawler 25miles south east of Selsey. The UK Coastguard reported that the six crew from the trawler might need evacuating from the vessel and that the CG Rescue 175 had also been tasked from Lee on Solent. The weather was wind Easterly force 8-9 sea state Rough in clear sky.


The tanker with a crew of 20 was requested to stand by the trawler until the lifeboat arrived. After a rough passage in heavy seas the ALB arrived on scene at 4.58am and with Rescue 175 already on scene the tanker was released by the UK Coastguard. The ALB was requested to light up the trawlers hull to assess the damage as the skipper had said the water ingress had stopped. The damage was above the water line on the bow and this was passed on to the skipper and UK CG. With this information the UK CG stood Rescue175 down to return to base.


At the time of the collision the trawler was fishing with his beams down, the nets were recovered before the arrival of the lifeboat but the port side trawl beam was hanging down in the water because a steel wire used to haul it up had been damaged in the collision. The crew of the trawler worked for nearly an hour to repair the wire and were able to stow the trawl beam safely.


The skipper of the trawler checked he had propulsion and steering before saying he was happy to continue to his home port without further assistance. This was passed onto the UK CG and the lifeboat was released to return to Selsey arriving back at 7.38am.The lifeboat was recovered washed refuelled and made ready for service by 9.30am. The crew today were Coxswain Rob Archibald, Mechanic Phil Pitham, Max Gilligan. James Albrey, Andy Lee and Neil Hopcraft.


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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.