Sea Quest skipper tells of moment he feared for his vessel off the coast of Great Yarmouth
- Credit: James Bass
The skipper of an angling boat that came within moments of sinking, has told of how he feared losing the vessel he bought 36 years ago.
Paul Dyble, 68, was a nautical mile out to sea with six passengers, when he noticed his versatility boat, Sea Quest, was filling with water.
However, the skipper remained calm in the face of danger, drawing on his 54 years of boating experience to avoid disaster.
Mr Dyble had been escorting the passengers on a fishing trip, when the boat's alarm system notified him of a leak in one of its valves.
On checking the vessel's engine box, he saw that it, too, had filled with water.
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However, Mr Dyble remained composed, sending radio signals to the coastguard and preparing his passengers with life jackets.
He said: 'This was the first time I had experienced something like on my own vessel.
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'My passengers all stayed very calm too. I simply told them that they needed to put their life jackets on and that they would have to get off when a lifeboat arrived.'
The six people then boarded the daughter boat of offshore standby vessel the Putford Puffin, leaving Mr Dyble fearing for his boat – but not his life.
'I honestly thought that was it for her,' said Mr Dyble. 'I wasn't worried about myself, I knew what to do and have an inflatable lifeboat if worst came to the worst.
'I have seen boats roll, and others in horrendous conditions, and I honestly thought I would lose her.'
Mr Dyble added: 'The coastguard did an absolutely first class job getting everybody safely back to shore, and helping me out as well.
'Since Sunday, I've received lots of messages on social media congratulating me on staying calm and giving me some very complimentary words – it has really meant a lot.'
The father-of-two had already received praise from the UK Coastguard for his prompt actions, who described him as 'well-trained and quick-thinking'.
After two days of repair work, a new valve and fresh skin fittings, Sea Quest is back in ship-shape and ready to take to the sea once more.
'I'm very lucky to still have her,' said Mr Dyble. 'The old boat is still afloat.'