RNLI come to the rescue after boat takes in water

RNLI come to the rescue after boat takes in water

15 September 2021

TWO men in a boat which was in danger of sinking nine miles west of St John’s Point lighthouse in Killough last week were rescued by Portaferry RNLI.

The lifeboat volunteers — who responded to the emergency call along with members of Newcastle RNLI and Newcastle Coastguard — made their way to the vessel last Wednesday morning after reports that it was in danger of sinking.

Emergency services were alerted to the unfolding drama shortly after 11am, with Newcastle RNLI also requested to launch its all-weather lifeboat.

The Portaferry inshore lifeboat, helmed by Chris Adair and crew members Simon Exley, George Toma and Ian Sands, launched immediately when the call for help was made and made their way to scene approximately 25 minutes away.

Weather conditions at the time were good with clear skies, moderate visibility due to a sea fog, smooth seas and a light breeze.

Arriving first on scene, the Portaferry lifeboat crew observed that the men onboard the boat were safe and well and were already using their own salvage pump to deal with the water it was taking onboard.

The lifeboat helm transferred a crew member aboard the vessel with another salvage pump should it be required. 

However, having assessed the situation and with the crew’s own pump coping well with the intake of water, a decision was made to escort the vessel to the safety of Ardglass harbour. Newcastle RNLI was subsequently stood down. 

On arrival at Ardglass, the vessel was assisted by volunteers from the Newcastle Coastguard team. 

After the call-out, Portaferry helmsman Chris Adair said the men onboard the rib acted quickly which ensured that help was with them in good time should the situation have deteriorated. 

“We would like to commend them for doing everything right in raising the alarm early on when they knew they were in difficulty, for wearing their lifejackets and for being prepared for the situation they encountered and using their own salvage pump,” he said.

Chris added: “All these factors helped in keeping them safe and we were delighted to escort them back to Ardglass.”

It also emerged that shortly after returning to station at their South Promenade base last Wednesday, the Newcastle Coastguard team was tasked to the Sherby area of Annalong after reports of a large unidentified object in the water. It was discovered to be a large tree trunk.