RNLI rescues stricken fishing boat

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A LIFEBOAT was launched to help an Amble-based fishing vessel, after it became tangled in its own nets 22 miles offshore.

The Amble all-weather lifeboat The Four Boys received a launch request from HM Coastguard on Friday to go to the aid of the Fidelity, which had no propulsion or steering.

RNLI coxwain John Connell said: “On this particular occasion, the lifeboat was launched in exceptionally quick time as the crew had just returned from an exercise and were still assembled in the boathouse when the initial contact was heard from Fidelity on the radio to the Coastguard prior to the pagers being activated for a launch.”

The Fidelity was located approximately 22 miles north east of Amble harbour.

The only option was to tow the vessel and both boats reached Amble harbour at 1.45am.

Mr Connell added: “Fortunately, the sea state and visibility made it a successful and safe operation in getting Fidelity and her crew back ashore, but this kind of incident in different weather conditions would be very dangerous.

“Any boat that finds itself without steering or propulsion in a heavy sea is at the mercy of the waves which could lead to capsize if the skipper is unable to respond due to mechanical failure.

“Thankfully, this wasn’t the case and our volunteer crew members carried out a textbook towing operation following our well-established training techniques, which are made possible thanks to the generosity of the public in supporting the RNLI and its work.”