Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station

Tynemouth RNLI lifeboats launched to sinking trawler

A SINKING trawler sparked a major rescue effort by Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat volunteer crew members this morning when the vessel suffered severe damage after colliding with a pier.

Humber Coastguard requested the launch of Tynemouth RNLI all weather and inshore lifeboats at 06:36 this morning after the Port of Tyne Vessel Traffic Services reported to them that the fishing vessel Grenaa Star had collided with the south Tyne pier.

The 18m, 46tonne vessel had begun taking in water and was in need of immediate assistance. The skipper had managed to get close to Little Haven beach, South Shields, where it became grounded.

Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat arrived at the scene just a minute after launching and after the situation was assessed, two crew members took a salvage pump onto the sinking boat and began to pump her out, and a second pump was placed on board shortly afterwards by the crew of the inshore lifeboat.

Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team were also on scene, keeping watch from shore, as Humber Coastguard continued to monitor and oversee the rescue operation.

The vessel’s skipper suffered a head injury and was taken off his vessel by a Police boat and then to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle for treatment.

The two remaining crew members of the Grenaa Star then shut down the fuel supply to prevent pollution and at low tide, 09.23, it was decided that the pumping was making no difference as the vessel was completely settled on the river bed, and was so badly damaged that she would be unlikely to completely refloat on the high tide.

Lifeboat crew members then fastened the vessel’s anchor to the beach to prevent any chance of her drifting from the beach, and then transferred the two fishermen onto the all weather lifeboat which took them to safety at North Shields Fish Quay, arriving at 09:30, three hours from when the lifeboats launched.

Lifeboats: 17-20 Spirit of Northumberland, D-693 Mark Noble