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Video: RNLI Lifeboat Saves Fishing Vessel From the Rocks

peterhead rnli
The Peterhead RNLI lifeboat (background) rescues a fishing vessel adrift off the harbor breakwater (Peterhead RNLI)

Published Feb 7, 2021 2:53 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Friday night, the Peterhead RNLI lifeboat crew launched in foul weather conditions to rescue a 160 tonne fishing vessel which was about to run aground on the rocks at Peterhead's harbor breakwater.

At about 1630 hours, HM Coastguard received an alert of an emergency situation at the harbor entrance. A fishing vessel was towing another fishing vessel into Peterhead Harbor in foul weather and high waves, and the tow broke multiple times. The tow was at imminent risk of grounding. 

Tasked by HM Coastguard, the volunteer RNLI crew rushed to their station, launched and were on scene within minutes. The vessel was close to crashing into the rocks at Peterhead's south breakwater. Due to an easterly gale and significant swell, the conditions on scene were were challenging and dangerous. 

However, the crew established a tow at the first attempt and brought the fishing vessel and its crew back to safety, saving the five fishermen onboard.

“This was a really tremendous effort by the crew showing great teamwork and seamanship by all involved in really difficult conditions. If we had arrived seconds later the boat would have hit the rocks and it may have been a different outcome," said first-time coxswain Patrick Davidson. "As soon as I saw how close she was to the rocks I immediately requested the helicopter - due to the perilous situation I realized we only had one attempt to get this right . . . There has been weather and flood warnings in place across Aberdeenshire today - the conditions were very dangerous but everyone worked together to ensure the safest outcome.”

“This was a critical incident and the effort from everyone on shore and at sea has resulted in five lives being saved. It is a tremendous outcome, and I’d like to commend the bravery displayed by the crew," said Jurgen Wahle, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager.