Donate now

RNLI Lerwick Lifeboat launches to sinking fishing vessel

Lifeboats News Release

Lerwick Lifeboat crew launched at 5am this morning, to go the aid of a 27-metre fishing vessel which had activated its distress beacon, 36 nautical miles east of Shetland

Image shows the 'hi-line' rope coild in the foreground, used for helicopter lifting operations, recovered with other floating debris.

RNLI Lerwick

Image shows the 'hi-line' rope used for helicopter lifting operations, recovered with other floating debris.
The UK Coastguard coordinated the rescue to the incident, with the Sumburgh-based Coastguard Rescue helicopter also tasked to the scene, assisted by a Norwegian rescue helicopter. Lerwick lifeboat launched and made good speed to the scene, despite rough seas.

The fishing vessel had reportedly taken in a quantity of water at the stern and sank quickly. Before the eight crew on board abandoned their vessel, they had time to activate their ‘DSC’ maritime distress signal, giving their exact location.

At the time, winds were northerly, Force 6-7, with an air temperature of around five degrees Celsius.

The eight crew were lifted from their liferafts by helicopter and taken to Sumburgh airport. All fishing vessel crew are reported to be well.

Lerwick lifeboat arrived at the scene of the sinking around fifteen minutes later. Crew searched the area and recovered floating debris from the surface.

The lifeboat returned to Lerwick harbour around 10am, and was refuelled and made ready for service again.

Stephen Manson, Lerwick Lifeboat Coxswain said: “We’re pleased that all crew were safely recovered by helicopter, given the cold sea temperature and rough sea conditions. The fishing vessel was well equipped and their distress beacon gave their exact location for the rescue response. Our volunteer crew are always able to respond to any request to launch for vessels in distress.”
Severn-class Lerwick lifeboat on the water in Lerwick harbour, approaching Victoria pier.

RNLI Lerwick

Lerwick lifeboat returning to harbour at 10am after the five-hour call-out.

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.