Port St Mary and Port Erin RNLI called to reports of a missing vessel
Port St Mary RNLI lifeboat volunteer crew members were paged at 3:58pm today (Sunday 31st January) at the request of Belfast Coastguard, after reports that a vessel, thought to be a fishing vessel, had gone missing. The vessel was being observed approximately 1 mile west of Bradda Head Port Erin
Port St Mary’s relief all-weather Trent class lifeboat RNLB Forward Birmingham, was launched under the command of coxswain Mark Pendlebury in a force 7 south-easterly wind and rough seas and proceeded to Port Erin, whilst Port Erin’s Lifeboat crew were paged to join the search. Their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat B-813 Muriel and Leslie was launched at 4:15pm under the command of helm, Tony Mitchell and immediately they commenced searching the area where the vessel was last seen.
Once Port St Mary were on scene they were tasked to take out a sector search pattern between Port Erin Bay and Fleshwick Bay, whilst Port Erin were tasked to utilize the advantage that their inshore lifeboat offers by scouring close in along the tricky coastline.
Whilst the search took place the coastguard carried out local checks that no fishing vessels had been reported as overdue. After searching for an hour and half, and following confirmation that all local vessels had been accounted for, both lifeboats were stood down at 5:36pm.
Port Erin’s Muriel and Leslie was back on station and ready for service at 6:00pm, with Port St Mary’s Forward Birmingham ready by 6:15pm.
Coxswain of Port St Mary Lifeboat Mark Pendlebury says 'Both lifeboats carried out a comprehensive search of the estimated last known position with no sign of any vessel or debris. Once the Coastguard were happy all local vessels were accounted for both Lifeboats were stood down. I concluded that it was thankfully a false alarm but with good intent.'
Helm of Port Erin’s lifeboat goes on to say 'We were launched at the request of the coastguard for a fishing vessel 1.5 Nm off Bradda head. We were then tasked to go to 0.5Nm off Bradda and do a search north whilst Port St Mary did a search pattern further out to sea. The crew maintained a look out and did regular coms with Belfast. I would like to thank the crew and the shore crew for all their help.'
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.