Lifeboat crews called to help sinking fishing boat off Norfolk coast

RNLI lifeboat crews were called to help a sinking fishing boat two miles north of Scolt Head Island

RNLI lifeboat crews were called to help a sinking fishing boat two miles north of Scolt Head Island in the early hours of Saturday September 18. - Credit: Wells RNLI

Lifeboat crews and a rescue helicopter were called to helping a sinking fishing boat off the north Norfolk coast at the weekend.  

Wells RNLI came to the aid of two fishermen in the early hours of Saturday September 18, after a mayday call. 

The volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at around 12.51am to assist the 14 metre King’s Lynn registered boat, which was in danger of sinking.  

The fishing vessel had been trawling two miles north of Scolt Head Island when it quickly started to take on water through the stern gland.  

A Wells RNLI spokesman said: “Our Mersey class lifeboat, the Doris Mann of Ampthill, left the station at 1.12am and was towed on its carriage along the beach to the low water launch site in Holkham bay.  

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“At this time, due to the severity of the mayday call, Skegness RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat and the coastguard rescue helicopter were also requested to the incident.  

“Wells RNLI launched in Holkham Bay at 1.46am and immediately set course toward the fishing vessel.” 

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First on the scene was the coastguard helicopter with the Skegness and Wells RNLI lifeboats arriving within minutes of each other.   

The rescue helicopter circled overhead while both lifeboats put crew members onboard and rigged up two salvage pumps to reduce the water level. 

The helicopter then stood down and returned to the station.   

The two crew members were safe and well with no injuries. 

The RNLI spokesman continued: “With the vessel stabilised, a tow line was rigged from the Wells RNLI lifeboat and the passage back to a safe mooring in Wells Harbour commenced at 3am.   

“Skegness RNLI stood by and escorted the Wells lifeboat and the fishing vessel all the way back toward Wells fairway.  

“At 4am, the Skegness RNLI lifeboat recovered their salvage pump from the fishing vessel and set course back to Skegness.      

 “The fishing vessel was then safely put on a drying mooring at 4.45am in the harbour and the lifeboat crew then assisted in tightening up the leaking stern gland to prevent any water ingress before returning to the station at 5.27am.”   

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