RNLI rescues 17 fishermen
Red Bay and Larne RNLI rescued 17 Spanish fishermen after their 35m trawler got into difficulty 11 miles east of Cushendall last week (11Mar21).
The volunteer crews at both stations launched as the trawler reported losing all power and drifting into a shipping lane.
Weather conditions at the time were challenging with Storm Force 10 gusts of up to 54 knots and high seas recorded during the course of the call out.
Red Bay RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat, under Coxswain Paddy McLaughlin and with five crew onboard, was on scene first to assess the situation. Larne RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat meanwhile, under Coxswain Frank Healy and with four crew members onboard, was diverted from a training exercise and made its way to the scene.
Red Bay RNLI began to work with the crew of the trawler to establish a towline while the all-weather lifeboat from Larne illuminated the scene in what were dark, wet and windy conditions.
The lifeboat started a slow tow to bring the vessel back to Red Bay but the extreme weather forced the tow to part mid-way.
Larne RNLI established a second tow and brought the trawler the remainder of the way into Red Bay where it was secured at 11pm.
Both lifeboats were requested to launch once again the following morning after the trawler began to drag its anchor out of Waterfoot. In much better conditions and daylight, Red Bay RNLI safely towed the vessel into the shelter of Red Bay.