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Portrush RNLI launched to a fishing vessel in difficulty.

Lifeboats News Release

The 26-foot-long vessel with 2 males on board had reported engine problems and were drifting towards land.

RNLI/Dave Robinson

Debs Smyth Portrush RNLI Crew member

The 26-foot-long vessel with 2 males on board had reported engine problems and were drifting towards land.

The All-weather Lifeboat and her volunteer crew launched at 12.46. Weather was overcast, sea was very choppy with a bitterly cold southerly wind with gusts of approximately 50 mph.

The ALB arrived on scene at 1.34 pm and the crew carried out a dynamic risk assessment to decide on the most appropriate course of action for the fishermen and their vessel. The fishermen had been dragging their anchor but were forced to deploy the extra weight of their trawling gear to anchor the boat until Portrush RNLI arrived on scene. It was agreed that the best plan was to attach a tow line and tow the vessel to safety and to the nearest harbour which was Greencastle. The anchor and the trawl gear were left in situ with a floating buoy for recovery later

The tow was executed successfully and the volunteer crew returned to station at 4.49 pm

Beni McAllister Lifeboat Operations Manager said:

‘Once the crew arrived on scene, as always, an assessment was carried out along with the crew of the stricken vessel to agree the best course of action. This is a procedure that our crew carry out and train for on a regular basis. We are glad we were able to get the vessel and her crew to safety.

Interesting to note- On International Women’s Day we had crewmember Debs Smyth on board, one of our three female crewmembers’


RNLI/Debs Smyth

Portrush RNLI Coming Home

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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