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Video: UK Coastguard Rescues Six Fishermen in Heavy Weather

By The Maritime Executive 03-13-2019 11:46:44

On Tuesday night, the UK Coastguard rescued six crewmembers from a disabled fishing vessel off Lands End in foul weather conditions.  

HM Coastguard received an alert at around 2200 on Tuesday night that the French fishing vessel La Fanette had suffered an engine failure in heavy weather. Another fishing vessel diverted to assist, and at 2350 hours, the coast guard requested the launch of the Sennen Cove RNLI volunteer lifeboat. 

Despite the foul surface conditions from what UK forecasters named "Storm Gareth," Sennen Cove Lifeboat made its way to the scene and arrived at 0040 hours. However, due to 20-foot waves and storm force winds, it was impossible for either the fishing vessel or the lifeboat to establish a tow with La Fanette.

The Newquay Coastguard Rescue Helicopter flew out to evacuate La Fanette's crewmembers instead. "This is definitely one of the most challenging jobs we’ve seen at Newquay. We were flying into a Force 8 gale with 20ft high waves swirling beneath us and we could clearly see the fishing vessel disappearing beneath the swell as we approached," said Capt. Sharky Finn of the Newquay helicopter station. "We tried a variety of different winching positions as the fishing vessel pitched and rolled violently underneath us before lowering a hi-line and then our winchman to the bow. The only way we could do this was turn the helicopter 90 degrees out of winds which meant we were effectively flying sideways."

Despite the difficult conditions, the helicopter crew brought all six fishermen aboard and returned to Newquay. The Newquay Coastguard Rescue Team and the Newlyn Seaman’s Mission met them at the landing pad to care for the rescuees. 

HM Coastguard says that it continues to monitor the drifting vessel.