Royal Navy patrol boat rescues distressed fishermen off Plymouth

Photo: Royal Navy
Photo: Royal Navy

The Royal Navy Archer-class patrol vessel HMS Puncher came to the rescue of a stricken fishing boat while carrying out training off Plymouth on Friday, June 26.

Without power and unable to radio for help, the fishermen on the troubled boat had to use their mobile phones to alert the coastguard, as they drifted dangerously towards the coast.

The coastguard then requested other vessels within the vicinity to assist.

Puncher was conducting routine navigation training around the Devon and Cornish coasts when it responded to the call and immediately proceeded to the fishing boat's last known location.

However, without any power, the fishermen could not give an accurate location of where they were as they continued to drift towards the rocky shore.

After several searches of incorrect locations, a satellite map screenshot from the mobile phone of one of the fishermen finally aided Puncher's crew in finding the distressed vessel.

The navy personnel brought the fishing boat alongside the larger patrol vessel. Puncher's onboard naval engineers then carried out repairs on the fishing boat's engine.

Following the repairs, the fishing boat sailed out on its own. It broke down again after covering barely a hundred metres on the water, prompting Puncher's crew to tow the stricken vessel to shore.

The rescue operation lasted more then five hours. No injuries have been reported.

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World