Three rescued from boat drifting out to sea

Morecambe's lifeboat crew rescued three people from a fishing boat with engine trouble which was drifting out to sea.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 8th May 2016, 10:53 am
Updated Sunday, 8th May 2016, 1:00 pm
The Morecambe inshore Lifeboat
The Morecambe inshore Lifeboat

At 2.15pm on Saturday, Holyhead Coastguard requested the Morecambe RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew to go to the assistance of three people on board a 16ft fishing boat, whose engine had failed one and a half miles South of Heysham power station.

The men on the fishing boat had informed the Coastguard that they had deployed their anchor but it had failed to hold and they were drifting further out to sea, driven by the strong ebbing tide and offshore wind.

Morecambe’s volunteer crew ptook their inshore lifeboat out, by which time the boat had drifted five miles South of Heysham harbour.

One of the lifeboat crew transferred to the fishing boat and succeeded in starting its engine, but it continued to cut out.

Given the combined strength of the wind and receding tide, Morecambe’s RNLI volunteer helmsman, Steve Wilson, decided that the inshore lifeboat would have insufficient fuel to tow the fishing boat and its occupants back to their launch site in Morecambe.

He requested the support of Fleetwood’s volunteer all-weather lifeboat, which also launched and made way to the scene where, after supplying Morecambe’s inshore lifeboat with 20 litres of extra fuel, took two of the fisherman on board and proceeded to tow the stricken fishing boat to Knott End.

Morecambe’s inshore lifeboat returned to Morecambe with the fishing boat’s owner on board; in order to return him to his vehicle and trailer.

But by this time, the tide had ebbed so low that they were unable to return to the lifeboat station and had to make a difficult beach recovery near the Grosvenor Road slipway.

Morecambe RNLI Lifeboat operations manager, Kevin Jackson, said: “This rescue illustrates how well we can combine with our RNLI colleagues at other lifeboat stations in order to achieve a positive outcome.”