UK: Tynemouth lifeboat rescues world’s only engineless cargo ship, the Tres Hombres – Published 04 Jun 2017 2133z (GMT/UTC)

The world’s only Engineless Sailing Cargo Ship was towed to safety by Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat on Sunday morning (June 4th).

Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat tows the Tres Hombres – the World’s only Engineless Sailing Cargo Ship – to safety at North Shields. (Image: RNLI/Adrian Don)

The lifeboat and volunteer crew members launched in response to a request for help by the skipper of the Brigantine-type sailing ship Tres Hombres.
Earlier in the morning a motor launch belonging to the 32m,128tonne sailing vessel had broken down and had been towed back to her mother ship by Cullercoats RNLI lifeboat.
The skipper of the Tres Hombres then asked for assistance in getting his vessel to a safe harbour because as she is powered only by sail and has no auxiliary engine, she relies on the now broken-down motor launch to maneuver in port. With very strong winds expected on Monday, the vessel could have been in a precarious situation so, after discussions with UK Coastguard, it was decided that the safest option for it was to tow her into the river Tyne.
Tynemouth RNLI’s all weather lifeboat was requested to launch at 10:44 and made best speed to the Tres Hombres which was anchored off Whitley Bay with Cullercoats RNLI lifeboat standing by her.
Once the lifeboat met the sailing ship the volunteer crew quickly got her under tow, while a crew member went on board to ensure the tow ropes remained secure.
The Tres Hombres and her crew of 15 were then taken to North Shields Western Quay without further incident, escorted by Cullercoats RNLI lifeboat who put two crew members ashore on the quay to assist with mooring.
Once the sailing vessel was made fast on the quay the lifeboats returned to their respective stations.
Adrian Don, the spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat, said: ‘This is one of the most unusual services our volunteer crew members have carried out and the casualty vessel is unique as the world’s only engineless sailing cargo ship.
‘The Tres Hombres and her crew were in no immediate danger but having no engine and with her launch broken down, they had no means of safely getting into harbour and with very poor weather expected her skipper had no alternative but to ask for assistance.
‘Our volunteers were happy to help and quickly got the vessel into the shelter of the Tyne harbour’. – RNLI

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UK: Teen rescued in rough seas by Cullercoats Lifeboat, aided by unknown local surfer. Highlights spring tides and ground swell danger – 080913 2310z

Following a 999 call made by a member of the public reporting a young boy in difficulties in the sea at Browns Bay in Whitley Bay, Humber Coastguard requested the launch of RNLI Cullercoats lifeboat at 5.34pm on Saturday 7 September.


Within 8 minutes the lifeboat, Hylton Burdon with the volunteer crew of Peter Clark, Leading Helmsman, Andy Small and Curtis Dunn were at the scene. Directed by volunteers of Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade, they found a 13 year old local boy floundering in the water and in difficulty. He was only about 15 yards from the coastline but with the tide at its highest and a large sea swell he was unable to get back to the rocks nearby and was getting very tired.


Fortunately, whilst the lifeboat was making its way to the scene a local surfer who was walking nearby was also alerted to the boys danger. He entered the water with his surfboard and was able to reach the boy and maintain his position in the area of the water.


Once at the scene one of the crew jumped into the sea and was able to get to the casualty and with the help of his fellow volunteer crew members he was able to get the boy on-board the lifeboat with the aid of a safety rope. The surfer was able to make his own way back to the safety of the nearby rocks.

Teenager rescued from water

Credit: RNLI/Michael Scott
Teenager rescued from water

Casualty helped in water byvolunteer crew member

Credit: RNLI/Michael Scott
Casualty helped in water byvolunteer crew member


The teenager’s welfare was immediately assessed on the lifeboat where it was ascertained that he had been in the water for some time and was very cold and possibly suffering from shock. He was given a waterproof/windproof covering and taken back to the lifeboat station where he was met and assessed by a Paramedic from the North East Ambulance Service. The teenager was given medical attention at the station and was released back to his family 1 hour later.


Peter Clark, Leading Helmsman Cullercoats RNLI said: Browns Bay is notorious at high tide for its dangerous sea swells and the rocks in the area create large waves. Once we arrived he was very tired and weak, any longer in the water and it may have been a different situation. I would like to thank the local surfer who kept the boy secure before we arrived.


Frank Taylor, Operations Manager at Cullercoats RNLI said: Routine water activity becomes very dangerous with spring tides and ground swell. This boy is lucky to have been rescued. ” – RNLI