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Multiple RNLI lifeboats launch to report of ferry fire

Lifeboats News Release

Lifeboats from the charity’s stations at Fishguard, St Davids and New Quay were launched to assist the Stena Line Rosslare to Fishguard ferry following a report of a fire in the engine room.

Fishguard RNLI

Stena Europe at berth in Fishguard with Stena Line crew dousing the funnel with water.


The volunteer crews from the three stations were paged at 09.26pm following a report to UK Coastguard of a fire in the engine room of the Stena Europe which was located approximately two nautical miles from Fishguard harbour.


RNLI Fishguard’s Trent class all-weather lifeboat Blue Peter VII, RNLI St David’s Tamar class all-weather lifeboat Norah Wortley and RNLI New Quay’s Mersey class all-weather lifeboat Frank and Lena Clifford of Stourbridge launched into calm conditions and made their way to the location of the casualty vessel as part of a multi-agency response. This included UK Coastguard, RNLI, Mid and West Wales Fire Service, Dyfed-Powys Police, Welsh Ambulance Service and Welsh Air Ambulance.


Fishguard’s Blue Peter VII was the first to arrive on scene where it was reported that the fire had been extinguished but that the vessel could only operate its starboard side engines. The lifeboat stood by whilst the vessel made its way into the harbour where it was met by the tug St Davids whose crew had offered assistance in manoeuvring the vessel to its position alongside the ferry terminal where it was met by emergency services.

Whilst this was taking place the volunteer crew from St David’s arrived on scene and joined Fishguard in standing by should they be required.


Once safely docked, crews from Mid and West Wales Fire Service boarded the vessel to make assessments. Lifeboats from Fishguard and St David’s returned to Fishguard Lifeboat Station where they were requested to remain on standby due to the large number of emergency personnel at location. Whilst still making way to the scene the lifeboat from RNLI New Quay was stood down following evaluation from the coastguard that they were no longer required.

After further assessment the crew from St David’s were also stood down and made their way back to their station, whilst Fishguard were requested to remain on standby until further notice.


Shortly after midnight, confirmation was received from UK Coastguard that Fishguard crew could stand down. RNLI Fishguard and RNLI New Quay were made ready for service by 12.30am, and RNLI St Davids by 1.30am.


Steve Grant, station coxswain Fishguard RNLI, said:


'Thankfully the well trained staff aboard the ferry were able to control the situation and the Stena Europe was able to make its way safely into the harbour. As a volunteer crew we train for these situations in the hope that they’ll never occur, however it was good to see a smooth multi-agency response being coordinated on land, sea and air and that all passengers and crew were able to safely disembark.'


Notes to Editors:


RNLI Media Contacts

For more information please contact Cedwyn Rogers, Lifeboat Press Officer on [email protected] or RNLI Regional Media Officer Claire Elshaw on [email protected] / 07468 353082

Fishguard RNLI

RNLI all-weather lifeboats Blue Peter VII (left) and Norah Wortley (right) along with the tug St Davids.

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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