Donaghadee RNLI fishing August

Donaghadee RNLI lifeboat came to the rescue of the stricken fishing boat. Photo: RNLI/Ross Bennett 

Donaghadee RNLI lifeboat brought a fisherman to safety Tuesday morning, 18 August after his fishing vessel got into difficulties.

The all-weather lifeboat crew were requested at 02.44 by Belfast Coastguard to come to the assistance of a 15 metre fishing boat with one person onboard.

The fishing boat, which was making passage from Ardglass to Mallaig in Scotland, ran into mechanical difficulties in the early hours of this morning and drifted ashore at Templepatrick, just south of Ballyvester beach.

The volunteer crew launched the RNLI all-weather lifeboat Saxon at 03.00 and in flat calm sea conditions and driving rain made full speed to be on scene in less than 10 minutes.

As the vessel was so far inshore with a falling tide, the daughter inflatable lifeboat was launched and crew members John Ashwood, Deputy Coxswain and Ross Bennett, made their way to the fishing boat to assess the situation.

It was decided that they should attempt a tow and a towline was quickly established but the attempt was unsuccessful due to the tidal conditions. After liaising with Belfast Coastguard and the fishing boats skipper, the decision was made that the best plan of action would be for the lifeboat to return when the tide had risen. The lifeboat and crew returned to the station at approximately 04.15.

Donaghadee RNLI fishing boat

The fishing boat under tow. Photo: RNLI/Margaret Ramm

After a couple of hours sleep, the lifeboat crew then relaunched at 8am and in similar conditions made their way back to the fishing boat at Templepatrick. They were able to go alongside as the tide had risen sufficiently and the same two crew members were transferred along with a salvage pump and towline. The tow was established while the salvage pump removed any excess water, and the boat was towed off the rocks stern first. The towrope was then transferred to the bow of the vessel, and an assessment was made to ensure there was no damage to the hull.

Saxon then proceeded a slow tow to Bangor, while waiting for permission to enter the harbour, the lifeboat went alongside the vessel and transferred the lifeboat mechanic who was able to assess the mechanical difficulties and restart the fishing boat’s engine.

After discussions with the skipper and the coastguard agreement was made that the vessel, now being under its own power, was able to proceed onwards to Mallaig.

Philip McNamara, Donaghadee RNLI Coxswain said: “I would just like to thank our volunteer crew members for being so quick to come to the assistance of this fishing boat and of course their willingness to return again a few hours later and lose part of their days work. A thank you to their employers also, for their flexibility. We all wish the skipper and his boat safe onward passage to Scotland.”

Source: Donaghadee RNLI

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Donaghadee RNLI tows stricken fishing boat with one onboard to safety

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