21Feb2012

DOUBLE rescue of stranded trawlers by Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat

Two trawlers with six fishermen onboard were rescued today by a volunteer crew from Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station after they got into difficulties eight miles south east of the river Tyne piers.

Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat Spirit of Northumberland with six volunteer crew members was launched at 2.35pm after the skipper of North Shields based trawler Good Fellowship contacted Humber Coastguard by for assistance when he ran into difficulties while towing another trawler, Trustful, that had lost power earlier.

The RNLI lifeboat reached the two stranded vessels 25 minutes after launching and the volunteer crew immediately set about attaching a tow rope to the Good Fellowship while ensuring the tow rope from Good Fellowship to Trustful was good.

The convoy reached the Tyne piers at 5.30pm and the lifeboat coxswain then undertook a difficult set of manoeuvres to tow the Good Fellowship alongside the port side of the lifeboat and the Trustful under the starboard, so the two powerless boats would be easier to control in the confined area of the Tyne harbour and able to be pushed onto the quayside at North Shields.

The skipper of another trawler, Good Intent III, offered assistance to the lifeboat crew and stood by while the vessels entered the harbour.

Arriving at North Shields fish quay, another difficult manoeuvre was undertaken to place each trawler onto a berth but once they were tied up safely the lifeboat returned to station.

Adrian Don, spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat said: ‘The skipper of the trawler Good Fellowship had taken the Trustful under tow after her propeller became fouled in her nets, leaving her stranded 8 miles south east of the Tyne, but shortly afterwards he was forced to call for assistance himself after his own vessel’s propeller became fouled in floating debris leaving the pair of trawlers drifting, but still attached by a tow rope.

‘’Michael Nugent, the lifeboat Coxswain described the rescue as ‘interesting’ as he undertook a very difficult tow and a number of complicated manoeuvres to bring the two fishing boats and their crews to safety.

‘This was a very unusual rescue and certainly the first time the Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat has rescued two large fishing boats at the same time’

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