Exmouth and Teignmouth RNLI rescue fishing boat
Brixham coastguard tasked both the Exmouth and Teignmouth lifeboats on the night of 6 December to assist an 8.4m netter taking on water between Dawlish and Exmouth.
The Exmouth all weather Mersey-class lifeboat Margaret Jean was launched at 9.58pm, minutes after the Atlantic inshore lifeboat The Two Annes from Teignmouth, in a collaborated rescue. The fishing boat was in danger of sinking three-quarters of a mile east of Langstone Rock, off Dawlish. Teignmouth lifeboat was launched first due to the location of the vessel and the speed of the Atlantic. However, it took 38 minutes and three attempts to locate the netter due to problems with the on-board navigation system. The three casualties from the netter were transferred to Teignmouth lifeboat for safety.
In treacherous weather and sea conditions, two volunteer crew from each lifeboat were transferred to the netter in an attempt to remove water using the charity’s on-board diesel salvage pump. The volunteers passed a tow line from the Margaret Jean to the fishing vessel. The casualties were then transferred to the Exmouth lifeboat and the netter was towed to Exmouth marina.
On entering the marina, Teignmouth lifeboat helped by keeping a line on the casualty’s stern as Exmouth lifeboat manoeuvred through the entrance, which was narrow due to congestion. Lifeboat Operations Manager, Kevin Riley commented:
‘The Exmouth all-weather lifeboat could have been there sooner if the vessel had given a more accurate position to the coastguard. This is of vital importance to us because the situations at sea can change quite dramatically and we may have had a different outcome.’
Coxswain Mechanic, Tim Mock described the weather conditions:
‘When we launched, the wind was south westerly force 4-5 but once on scene, soon increased to a force 8 north westerly as forecast. Torrential rain reduced the visibility but with the help from the Teignmouth crew volunteers, we connected a tow and made passage back to Exmouth.’