Aberystwyth RNLI rescues trawler from rocks – outside lifeboat station

Aberystwyth lifeboat crew rushed to the aid of a stricken fishing vessel at the entrance to the town’s harbour last Thursday (3 December). A 15m trawler had become grounded on rocks.

The 100-tonne scalloping trawler was rolling around on the rocks directly outside the lifeboat station.

With bad weather due, the scalloper had decided to make its way into Aberystwyth harbour. Once past the breakwater at the harbour entrance, the vessel’s engine died and was quickly pushed onto the rocks, known locally as the trap. Once the engines were restarted the boat was spun around further onto the rocks and the crew asked HM Coastguard for lifeboat assistance.

The RNLI station’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Spirit of Friendship, was launched and was immediately on the scene. With the breaking surf and shallow water, the lifeboat got as close as possible and was able to throw a tow line to the rear of the trawler. The crew then headed out to sea to hold the boat and prevent it being pushed further across the rocks and onto the beach and sea defence wall.

The volunteer crew worked hard to support the casualty vessel, which, as it was rolling around in the breaking sea, could be heard banging on the rocks. Newquay all-weather lifeboat was requested to assist.

With the help of the rising tide, the crew onboard the Atlantic 85 were able to slowly move the trawler off the rocks and into safer waters where she was able to restart her engines and enter the harbour under her own steam.

One eye-witness told the Cambrian News (https://www.cambrian-news.co.uk/) that the hull could be heard scraping on the rocks. Around 30 emergency service personnel attended and about 50 onlookers.

Aberystwyth lifeboat escorted the casualty into the harbour. All casualties on board the trawler were fine and the boat was not taking on any water.

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