Bangor and Donaghadee RNLI lifeboats assist pleasure fishing boat on rocks
Two RNLI lifeboats were launched yesterday (31 August) at the request of Belfast Coastguard to assist a pleasure fishing boat with four people onboard off Carrickfergus.
Bangor RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch at 3.15pm at the request of Belfast coastguard to reports of a pleasure fishing boat with a fouled propeller and drifting ashore onto rocks near Carrickfergus. The pleasure boat which had four people onboard was taking on water and required immediate assistance.
Bangor Lifeboat established a towline once on scene and was able to pull the sinking boat off the rocks and transfer two of the boats crew to the safety of the inshore lifeboat Jessie Hillyard where they were given casualty care by the volunteer crew. The remaining two crew members were recovered on the shoreline by Coastguard members.
Due to the vessel taking on too much water the decision was taken to request the assistance of Donaghadee RNLI all-weather lifeboat and use the lifeboats salvage pump to try and save the vessel. Bangor lifeboat cut their towline and proceeded to take the two casualties who were wet and cold to Carrickfergus into the care of the waiting Coastguard crew.
The volunteer crew of Donaghadee lifeboat Saxon were paged at 4.12pm and proceeded to make full speed to the last reported location of the sinking vessel. Upon arrival the fishing boat was already semi submerged and in the shipping lane, posing a danger to shipping traffic and local boats. The crew were able to secure a towline and tow the boat to shallow waters just north east of Carrickfergus and prevent it becoming a danger to other boats. Unfortunately, the boat was unable to be recovered.
Speaking following the dual operation Donaghadee RNLI Coxswain Philip McNamara said ‘Although unable to make it on time to save the fishing boat the main concern is the safety of the crew members onboard. Thankfully the speedy response of our colleagues in Bangor ensured the people were brought to safety before the situation deteriorated any further. The crew member that requested assistance as soon as they realised they were in trouble did the right thing, the two crew members that made it ashore were very lucky to do so. If in difficulties it can be best to stay with your vessel as long as possible and avoid entering the water if you can ’
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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
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