RNLI responds to capsized scallop boat off North Yorkshire

A lifeboat at the Whitby RNLI station in North Yorkshire (Photo: RNLI)

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) at Whitby, North Yorkshire, rendered assistance to the crew of a scallop trawler that had capsized on the evening (local time) of Saturday, May 30.

The RNLI said the three fishermen first noticed an issue when their 13-metre vessel began to lean to one side at around 20:00. Before they had time to radio for help, the boat had capsized and the fishermen found themselves in the water 76 nautical miles off the coast.

Within minutes all that was visible of the vessel was the hull (the underside of the boat) which the three men managed to clamber aboard.

The men held on for over two and a half hours as the boat continued to slowly sink.

As the pressure within the boat increased, this triggered the emergency life raft to release and in turn sent a mayday distress call from the emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) which was fitted to the raft.

At this point the three men had to re-enter the water to climb into life raft at the same time that the beacon automatically alerted the local Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) station. The men were also able to fire the flares stored aboard the life raft in order to help nearby vessels locate them.

The coastguard launched a rescue helicopter and paged Whitby RNLI, which then launched an all-weather lifeboat at around 23:00.

The coastguard sent mayday signals to all nearby boats and one was able to reach the three men and remove them from the water.

Shortly afterward, the coastguard helicopter arrived and a paramedic was winched down to the three men aboard the fishing vessel that had rescued them. They were checked over and were declared well enough to not need to be airlifted to hospital.

Whitby’s RNLI crew arrived on the scene in the early hours of Sunday morning and transferred the rescued fishermen onto the all-weather lifeboat. All three individuals were later brought ashore to Whitby harbour.

Baird Maritime

The best maritime site on the web. The sea's our scene!