RNLI Wells lifeboat called to assess fishing vessel in difficult sea conditions
Wells all weather lifeboat was tasked by HM Coastguard at 5.19pm on Monday 17 January to access the situation of a 38ft fishing vessel with crew of two, which was disabled and taking on water.
Before getting into difficulties, the fishing vessel was being towed by another fishing vessel from home port, Kings Lynn, leaving on the morning tide for Wells. Here she was scheduled to have the repairs to her damaged propeller shaft undertaken.
The fishing boat was in the approaches to Wells fairway, where the harbour supply tender, Frank T, attempted to assist, but the difficult sea conditions made it too challenging for it to bring the boat safely into the harbour. The fishing vessel’s pumps were able to stem the flow of water coming in, whilst the Frank T held her in position outside the harbour.
The All-weather Lifeboat launched outside the boathouse at 5.39pm and proceeded down the harbour channel out to sea. It arrived on scene at 5.55pm where the situation was assessed. The decision was made to rig a tow as this was the safest way to help the casualties. At 6.10pm the Frank T cast off her line and returned to Wells Harbour, leaving the RNLI lifeboat to assist the fishing vessel.
At 6.26pm the tow was safely secured, and the lifeboat and fishing vessel started to make way back at slow speed to Wells Harbour, the nearest port. They safely navigated over Wells Bar and entered the calmer waters of the main harbour channel by 7pm. At 7.16pm the tow was shortened up and the fishing vessel was safely moored in the outer harbour by 7.23pm.
The all-weather lifeboat then returned to the lifeboat station and was ashore at 7.35pm. It was sanitised, rehoused, refuelled and back on service again at 8.30pm.
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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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