A fishing vessel in danger of sinking was assisted by Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat on Easter Monday.
The skipper of the trawler Charisma made a distress call to UK Coastguard at 11:20am after his boat started taking on water which also disabled his engine. The two fishermen on board stemmed the water ingress but couldn’t restart their engine, leaving the vessel with her nets still in the water, drifting 12 nautical miles south east of the Tyne piers. Sea conditions were good with only a moderate breeze.
UK Coastguard’s Humber Operations Centre immediately paged Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat which launched seven minutes later, making best speed to the 9.9m, 15tonne North Shields-based Charisma and due to the risk that the vessel could sink a Coastguard Rescue Helicopter from Humberside was also tasked.
The offshore support vessel Highland Prestige was nearby and stood by the Charisma, ready to assist if the situation worsened.
The lifeboat reached the stranded fishing boat at 11:58 and the volunteer crew assessed the situation. Two of the crew boarded the fishing boat and the lifeboat’s portable salvage pump was passed across to them. They pumped the seawater out of the Charisma and found that there was no more water entering her. As there was little risk of the boat sinking the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter was stood down while still en-route.
The fishing vessel was now out of immediate danger but the lifeboat was unable to tow her and her crew to safety while her nets were in the water so the lifeboat crew and fishermen attempted to retrieve them by getting power to the fishing boat’s winch.
The nets were brought back on to the Charisma at 1pm and the fishermen had managed to restart their engine as a result of attempting to get power to the winch so instead of towing her the lifeboat escorted her back to North Shields as a precaution against her taking on water or her engine stopping again.
The lifeboat and Charisma arrived safely at North Shields fish quay at 3.05pm and once the fishing boat was on the quay the lifeboat refuelled and returned to station, arriving at 3.40pm, a little over four hours after launching.
Lifeboat: 17-20 Spirit of Northumberland