Trawler saved from sinking
RNLI lifeboats from Tynemouth, Blyth and Cullercoats launched today in a joint operation to assist a sinking trawler.
Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat and Blyth RNLI inshore lifeboat were launched at 08:35 in a joint rescue operation after the skipper of the North Shields-based fishing vessel Trustful made a mayday call to Humber Coastguard when a fishing vessel they had under tow, also named Trustful, started sinking as they were two miles east of Blyth.
Blyth lifeboat reached the stricken vessel first and her three crew members confirmed that there was no-one on board.
Tynemouth lifeboat reached the scene at 09:01 and several of the crew went aboard the sinking 10-tonne vessel with a salvage pump to try and stem the water entering the vessel. which was by now listing badly to one side.
The Blyth lifeboat stood by during the operation but the pumping proved insufficient to reduce the water entering the trawler, and Cullercoats RNLI inshore lifeboat was then launched so their crew could use their boat's pump to assist the Tynemouth crew's efforts.
With the pumps now removing water from the trawler's engine room, the water level dropped slightly, enabling Tynemouth RNLI crew member Ian Black to enter the engine room and plug the leaks, saving the Trustful from sinking.
The Tynemouth lifeboat crew then attached a tow rope to the trawler and towed her to safety in the River Tyne, escorted by the Cullercoats inshore lifeboat.
The Blyth inshore lifeboat, which had been slightly damaged during the operation by a piece of floating debris, then returned to station.
Tynemouth all weather lifeboat took the Trustful to a yard at Howdon where the trawler could be lifted out of the water, before refuelling, and returned to station, arriving at 13:30.
Lifeboat: 17-20 Spirit of Northumberland
(Click on the photographs to enlarge)