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Wells and Skegness RNLI respond to Mayday call from two people on fishing vessel

Lifeboats News Release

Wells and Skegness RNLI came to the aid of two fishermen in the early hours of this morning (Saturday 18 September).

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 00.51am to render immediate assistance to a 14m fishing vessel with two crew onboard, which had put out a Mayday call, as she was taking on water and in danger of sinking.

The fishing vessel had been trawling two miles north of Scolt Head Island when she quickly started to take on water through the stern gland. Wells RNLI’s Mersey class lifeboat, the Doris Mann of Ampthill, left the station at 1.12am and was towed on its carriage along the beach to the low water launch site in Holkham bay. At this time, due to the severity of the Mayday call, Skegness RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat and the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter were also requested to the incident.

Wells RNLI launched in Holkham Bay at 1.46am and immediately set course toward the fishing vessel. First on the scene was the Coastguard helicopter with the Skegness and Wells RNLI lifeboats arriving within minutes of each other at 2.10am.

The rescue helicopter circled overhead whilst both lifeboats put crew members onboard and rigged up two salvage pumps which quickly reduced the water level onboard, enabling the helicopter to stand down and return to station.

With the vessel stabilised and in a position to be towed, a tow line was rigged from the Wells RNLI lifeboat and the passage back to a safe mooring in Wells Harbour commenced at 3am.

Skegness RNLI stood by and escorted the Wells lifeboat and the fishing vessel all the way back toward Wells fairway. At 4am when safely in the approaches to Wells Harbour, the Skegness RNLI lifeboat recovered her salvage pump from the fishing vessel and set course back to Skegness.

The fishing vessel was then safely put on a drying mooring at 4.45am in the harbour and the lifeboat crew then assisted in tightening up the leaking stern gland to prevent any water ingress before returning to the station at 5.27am.


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.

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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.