Lifeboat rescues stranded trawlers

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A LIFEBOAT crew was involved in a double rescue on Monday after two trawlers with six fishermen onboard became stranded at sea.

The alarm was raised at 2.35pm after North Shields-based Good Fellowship got into difficulties while towing trawler Trustful, which had broken down

Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat Spirit of Northumberland, with six volunteer crew, reached the stricken vessels eight miles south east of the Tyne piers, 25 minutes after the alarm was raised.

A tow rope was attached to the Good Fellowship and the convoy reached the Tyne piers after approximately two-and-a-half hours sailing.

Lifeboat coxwain Michael Nugent had to undertake a series of difficult manoeuvres to control the two powerless boats in the confined area of the Tyne harbour and berth them at North Shields fish quay.

Tynemouth RNLI spokesman Adrian Don said: “The skipper of the trawler Good Fellowship had taken the Trustful under tow after her propeller became fouled in her nets, leaving her stranded eight miles south east of the Tyne.

“But shortly afterwards he was forced to call for assistance himself after his own vessel’s propeller became fouled in floating debris, leaving the pair of trawlers drifting, but still attached by a tow rope.

“Michael Nugent described the rescue as ‘interesting’ as he undertook a very difficult tow and a number of complicated manoeuvres to bring the two fishing boats and their crews to safety.

“This was a very unusual rescue and certainly the first time the Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat has rescued two large fishing boats at the same time.”