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Disabled fishing vessel rescued

Lifeboats News Release

A Newlyn fishing vessel that had been hit by large waves that smashed a wheelhouse window and swamped the electronics called for help some 15 nautical miles north of the Isles of Scilly.

The volunteer crew of St. Mary's lifeboat, under the command of coxswain Peter Hicks, launched the all-weather lifeboat The Whiteheads at 18.30 on Thursday November 3rd.

The conditions were challenging with a 6-metre swell and a force 9 north westerly, but the lifeboat arrived on-scene in about one hour.

The fishing vessel had five persons on board and apart from the navigation equipment, the electronic management system had also failed and the engine could only tick over and was in danger of failing altogether.

After a discussion with the skipper of the fishing vessel it was agreed that the lifeboat would escort the stricken vessel through the Traffic Separation Scheme towards Land's End, to be met by the Penlee lifeboat and then onwards towards Newlyn.

It was a very slow escort despite being largely downwind, and the duty was passed over to the Penlee lifeboat at around midnight.

The St. Mary's lifeboat then made her way back to the islands against a very heavy sea that slowed the progress almost to a halt at times, but arrived at St. Mary's harbour at 2 am when she was refuelled ready for service once more.

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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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