Crew honoured for saving seven fishermen after boat explosion
- Credit: Equinor
Crew members of a wind farm service vessel have been thanked for rushing to the rescue of seven fishermen after an explosion forced its crew to abandon ship.
Members of the Esvagt Njord ship were first on the scene of the incident, which happened on December 15 last year, 22 nautical miles offshore from Cromer on the boat Galwad-Y-Mor.
It is thought the explosion on the fishing boat Galwad-Y-Mor may have been triggered by old munitions on the seabed being disturbed as crab pots were recovered. The boat started taking on water and its seven crew members escaped in a life-raft.
The crew included two UK nationals and five Latvians - all of them were hurt in the blast and some were left with life-changing injuries. RNLI Cromer’s all-weather Tamar class lifeboat was also called in to help.
Pete Lowson, the Coastguard's offshore energy liaison officer, said: "I would like to pass on my thanks to the crew of the Esvagt Njord for their support during this incident, particularly to the medic and those who treated the crew for their injuries.
"It is another example of the excellent resource which can be provided by the offshore renewables industry to support maritime search and rescue."
Esvagt Njord acts as a 'floating hotel' for workers on Equinor's Dudgeon wind farm north of Cromer.
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Sonja Chirico Indrebø, plant manager for Dudgeon offshore wind farm, said: "With our operations out at sea, it’s incredibly important that both our technician teams and the vessel crews are highly trained to deal with any kind of incident that could happen whilst offshore.
"This rescue operation goes to show that a trained team, highly skilled in emergency response and first aid can also create a safer environment for other users of our oceans.
"It really is thanks to those onboard the Esvagt Njord at the time that this story has a happy ending."
The abandoned Galwad-Y-Mor was towed to Grimsby by the tug, GPS Avenger, then lifted out of the water.
The Marine Accident Investigation Board has published a preliminary report into the incident, and is still investigating.