Five fishermen and two RNLI lifeboat crew were saved from the sea after a dramatic rescue when their trawler sank in bad weather.
The seven had to jump into the water just before the ship sank off Shetland as the sea was too rough to bring a lifeboat alongside. The alarm was raised at about 6.50am yesterday when the Lerwick-registered Ocean Way began taking on water. Lerwick RNLI lifeboat and the Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Sumburgh both rushed to the scene. Two RNLI crew, one of whom often crews on Skerries-based Ocean Way, were transferred to the trawler with a salvage pump. But the skipper decided the trawler could not be saved. The five crew and two RNLI volunteers jumped into the water minutes before the trawler sank at 8.20am. They were picked up by the lifeboat, crewed by eight volunteers, and taken back to Lerwick. A Norwegian fish carrier, the Gerda Saele, had put a pump on board while the helicopter began winching a third pump on board, but Ocean Way’s skipper decided to abandon ship. The trawler crew were all wearing life jackets and had an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon on board, pinpointing their position. Rescuers praised them for having the correct equipment. Lifeboat coxswain Alan Tarby said: “While the third pump was being winched on board the skipper decided to abandon ship and within minutes of him making that decision they got off and it sank, so it was a good call. “The rescue was made much easier because the Ocean Way’s crew were all wearing the correct safety equipment and had undergone safety training. “It was a good outcome even although the vessel was lost, all the crew were unharmed. The lifeboat crew performed very well, especially the two men who were in the water with the fishermen.” The fishermen were checked over by medics in Lerwick but did not need treatment. Mark Rodaway, commander for the UK Coastguard, said: “This was a difficult rescue in awful weather. In the conditions, the lifeboat had a difficult time trying to safely get alongside. “But I’m delighted to say that all five fishermen are safe and well and the fact they were all wearing life jackets ensured that they had the best chance of survival.”
RSOE March 04 2017 11:19 AM (UTC).
More here (inc video): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-39151952