Volunteer Lifeboat Crew Saves Sinking Fishing Vessel in the North Sea

fishing vessel
RNLI/Robbie Maiden

Published Nov 20, 2020 7:15 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Tuesday, an RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew saved a fishing vessel that was just minutes away from sinking in the North Sea, about seven nautical miles off the coast of Hartlepool, England. 

The Aberdeen-registered trawler with three people on board had made a distress call to the Humber Coastguard station when it began taking on water and sustained a mechanical malfunction. The RNLI volunteers got the call by 1515 hours on Tuesday, and within 15 minutes, both of the station's lifeboats had launched. They were alongside the sinking vessel at 1550 hours. 

With conditions deteriorating, a salvage pump and two crewmembers were transferred to the casualty vessel to begin pumping water. The fishing boat was then taken under tow to Hartlepool Fish Quay, where it arrived at 1745 hours. The salvage operation continued until a second pump was placed aboard, allowing the RNLI crew and lifeboats to return to the Ferry Road lifeboat station at 1830, where both boats were refueled and made ready for service once more.

"Without our assistance I think the vessel would have been in serious trouble. Some great team work from the volunteer crewmembers in difficult conditions certainly helped save the fishing boat," said Hartlepool RNLI coxswain Robbie Maiden.

'The galley area of the fishing boat was flooded, and debris floating around inside it made pumping the water out extremely difficult, but along with crewmember Mark Crangle we managed to reduce the water level," said Jake Oates, one of the RNLI crewmembers who went aboard the fishing boat to assist.