Video: RNLI scramble to sinking fishing boat off Shetland

Share this article
0
Have your say

Five fishermen have been rescued from the water after their trawler sank in bad weather off Shetland.

The crew called for help at around 6.50am on Friday when the Lerwick-registered vessel Ocean Way began taking on water.

Lerwick RNLI lifeboat and the Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Sumburgh both went to the scene, with the lifeboat arriving at 8.05am.

Two lifeboat crew, one of whom works on the Ocean Way, were transferred to the trawler with a salvage pump, while Norwegian fish carrier the Gerda Saele had already put a pump on board.

The helicopter began winching a third pump on board, however Ocean Way’s skipper decided to abandon ship when it became apparent that the vessel was beyond saving.

Due to the sea conditions, it was too dangerous to take the lifeboat alongside, so the five crew and two RNLI volunteers jumped into the water minutes before the trawler sank at 8.20am.

They were picked up by the lifeboat, crewed by eight volunteers, and taken back to Lerwick, arriving at 9.50am.

The trawler crew were all wearing life jackets and had an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon on board the vessel which went off, pinpointing their position.

Rescuers praised them for having the correct equipment.

Lifeboat coxswain Alan Tarby said: “While the third pump was being winched on board the skipper decided to abandon ship and within minutes of him making that decision they got off and it sank, so it was a good call by the skipper.

“The rescue was made much easier because the Ocean Way’s crew were all wearing the correct safety equipment and had undergone safety training. It was a good outcome even although the vessel was lost, all the crew were unharmed.

“The lifeboat crew performed very well, especially the two men who were in the water with the fishermen.”

The fishermen were checked over by ambulance crew in Lerwick but did not need medical treatment.

Mark Rodaway, commander for the UK Coastguard, said in a statement: “This was a difficult rescue in awful weather. In the sea conditions, the lifeboat had a difficult time trying to safely get alongside the fishing vessel which subsequently sunk.

“But I’m delighted to say that all five fishermen are safe and well and the fact that they were all wearing life jackets ensured that they had the best chance of survival.”