Tag Archives: RNLI

Fisherman remembers lives lost at sea with new day

A fisherman and RNLI crewman will be among those marking a new day of remembrance for workers killed at sea. Peter Clark, from Cullercoats RNLI in North Tyneside, is taking part in the first National Fishing Remembrance Day on Sunday to honour his missing colleagues. He said he has searched for and lost friends in the water and witnessed people’s anguish when family members do not return home from work. “A National Day of Remembrance can highlight the sacrifice these families ultimately made,” Mr Clark said. The fisherman joined the RNLI almost 30 years ago and is helm on Cullercoats lifeboat. As part of the Remembrance Day, a gathering will take place at the fisherman statue at North Shields’ Fiddler’s Green on Sunday. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 15:12

Useless unless worn

Great efforts have been made by all to produce meaningful, practical projects and help develop wearable floatation equipment in conjunction with fishermen and the manufacturers of floatation equipment, according to RNLI fishing safety manager Frankie Horne. He said that this has led to some real improvements in Personal Floatation Device (PFD) products. ‘As the saying goes, Useless Unless Worn, and it’s so true. We can talk about how things were done in the past, but as they say, the past is where things were done differently. Unfortunately, this attitude is why we keep seeing preventable fatalities in the fishing industry. In fact, some of the most vulnerable fishing activities have the worst PFD wear rate,’ he said. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 19:01

Reason why RNLI declined to give stricken trawler a tow to port except as last resort

A disabled scallop trawler was forced to jettison its fishing gear as it drifted towards shipping lanes off Anglesey. An all-weather lifeboat (ALB) from Moelfre put to sea for eight hours after answering an emergency call for from the trawler. The 14-metre vessel found itself at the mercy of the currents after suffering a mechanical failure around 12 miles north of Puffin Island. Concerned about posing a risk to ships, its crew issued a Pan Pan call – a request for urgent help while not being in immediate danger. The RNLI crew discovered the vessel’s derricks (lifting gear) were stuck down and its scallop dredges were hanging some five meters beneath the surface. These are heavy-duty metal framed nets that are pulled over the seabed to harvest scallops. Photos, more, >>CLICK TP READ<< 19:18

Three fishermen forced into life raft as trawler starts sinking

RNLI teams from Exmouth and Torbay carried out a joint rescue mission after three fishermen found themselves in peril when their trawler began sinking. At 9.32pm last night, Tuesday, April 16, HM Coastguard requested the launch of both the Exmouth and Torbay RNLI lifeboats, having received an urgent mayday call. The brevity of the desperate plea was spine-chilling as the message simply stated: “fishing vessel sinking”. This alarming report was quickly followed by a 999 call confirming that all three crew had taken to the vessel’s life raft. Photos, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 10:36

Torbay RNLI assists trawler with total loss of power in heavy seas at 04:00am

On Monday 15th April 2024 at 03:23am Solent Coastguard requested Torbay RNLI launch to assist a 100-ton beam trawler who had got into some difficulties 15 miles southeast of Berry Head. She had suffered a complete loss of power. Pagers went off and our volunteer crew duly assembled at the station, changed into wet-weather gear, made ready the All-weather Lifeboat (ALB) and launched at 03:45am. Weather and sea conditions early this morning, especially 15 miles into the Channel, were challenging. Force 7 gusting 8/9, north westerly winds, and choppy seas. Loss of both engine and generator power in these conditions meant the trawler and all her associated gear, would be unwieldly and vulnerable to the turbulent and freshening conditions. She was very much what is termed a ‘dark ship’. Photos, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 16:39

Exhibition celebrates town’s lifeboat heritage

A new exhibition celebrates the “very intrinsic part” a lifeboat station has played in the history of a town in the west of the island. The display at the Leece Museum in Peel features images of key figures over the years, the lifeboats that have served the station, and stories of rescues carried out. Tony Quirk of Peel Heritage Trust said the town, which was “known for its fishing industry over the years” was “never short of fishermen and sailors willing to go to sea and rescue the stricken boats”. The exhibition has been designed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the RNLI. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 09:40

Eight crew members airlifted to safety after fishing boat sinks

Eight people have been rescued and flown to Sumburgh Airport after the local whitefish trawler Opportune sank to the east of Shetland earlier this morning (Sunday). The coastguard said the call came in at around 5am after the boat had reportedly taken in water at the stern and sank quickly. The incident happened around 36 nautical miles northeast of Bressay, in rough seas. All eight crew members from the 27-metre vessel are accounted for and are said to be safe and well. They were airlifted from their liferafts by the Sumburgh based coastguard helicopter and a Norwegian search and rescue helicopter. Other vessels in the area area also offered their assistance. Photos, video, >>click to read<< 14:52

RNLI man is charged over death of fisherman in rescue after the grandfather’s boat was capsized during a rescue

A RNLI volunteer has been charged over the death of a grandfather whose fishing boat capsized during a rescue operation. William Murray McCubbin, 60, was pulled from the water after his vessel sank close to Port William harbour, Wigtownshire, in November 2022. His boat had become stranded on the rocks and efforts were already being made to recover it when it capsized. Mr McCubbin was taken to the Galloway Community Hospital, in Stranraer, but he could not be saved. Police have now arrested and charged a 48-year-old volunteer lifeboat crew member following a 16-month investigation. Yesterday, the family of Mr McCubbin – who was known to friends and relatives as Murray – paid tribute to him and spoke of their hope that the inquiry would provide them with answers. more, >>click to read<< 08:05

Century-old RNLI anniversary brochure resurfaces

A 100-year-old brochure promoting the RNLI has been donated to a charity shop. The booklet dates back to 1924 and celebrates the 100th anniversary of the organisation. The lifeboat station in Burnham-on-Sea was established in 1836, with the charity shop on the high street helping to raise funds for the organisation. Workers in the North Somerset shop plan to use it in displays, to celebrate the “amazing history” of the RNLI. Since it was first established in 1824, the brave volunteers at the RNLI have saved more than 144,000 lives at sea. photos, more, >>click to read<< 07:32

Probe sought into conditions of ‘stranded’ migrant fishers whose boat ran aground off Inis Mór

An investigation has been sought into conditions faced by four West African fishermen who were working on a boat that ran aground off the Aran Islands last weekend. The men had to be rescued from the fishing vessel as part of a multi-agency response that included the Coast Guard and RNLI. The Dáil has heard allegations that the men were “bogusly” recruited to work in Ireland, having first thought they would be working in the UK, only to find themselves working in the Atlantic Ocean off the Galway coast. Solidarity TD Mick Barry claimed the men were “put working illegally” on an Irish boat, called ‘Ambitious’, until the vessel ran aground off Inis Mór and the men required rescue last Sunday. Barry further alleged that attempts have been made by the owner “to send the four men back to Ghana in quicktime” before any authorities have an opportunity to hear of the “ordeal” they allegedly suffered. photos, more, >>click to read<< 13:30

Lifeboats and helicopter race to rescue mission off west Wales coast

Four lifeboats and a coastguard helicopter were involved in a mercy mission to a stricken fishing vessel off the west Wales coast yesterday (Friday, March 8). The five-hour operation coordinated by Milford Haven Coastguard, got underway shortly before midday when the Irish fishing vessel, the Shauna Leon, reported she was taking on water. The Wexford-registered boat, with five people on board, was 24 nautical miles north-west of Strumble Head, Fishguard. photos, more, >>click to read<< 06:53

Fishermen rescued from sinking boat after capsizing in strong winds

RNLI’s Oban lifeboat was tasked by Stornoway coastguard after a 17-metre fishing boat began taking on water south of the Garvellachs on Wednesday afternoon at around 1pm. When the lifeboat arrived, they discovered two members of the crew on a life-raft while two others had remained on board in a bid to stem the flow of water coming in. The Prestwick-based Coastguard helicopter Rescue 199 and a local workboat were standing by, however, strong winds and a heavy sea made it impossible to transfer across members of the lifeboat crew to the fishing boat with a salvage pump. photos, more, >>click to read<< 06:42

Dunbar: Lifeboatman Alistair Punton recognised for 30 years of service

A lifeboat volunteer recognized for 30 years of service has vowed he has no plans to retire. Alistair Punton was recently presented with a medal to honour his three decades with Dunbar RNLI. The 64-year-old revealed that his first callout actually took place before he had officially signed up. He said: “I’d spent a lot of time on boats – I’d had little cabin cruisers of my own and been on fishing boats – so the coxswain at the time, Noel Wight, invited me to join them at North Berwick’s lifeboat day that year. He said: “I’m not ready to retire – as long as I’m passed medically fit and my line manager agrees I can stay on.” Photos, more, >>click to read<< 07:12

Torbay lifeboat rescues trawler in dramatic operation off South Devon coast

Torbay RNLI received a request from Solent Coastguard to assist the trawler 18 miles south of Start Point – in force eight winds and four metre swells – whose skipper had reported water coming into his engine room. The station’s ‘Deputy Launch Authority’ on duty immediately launched the All-weather lifeboat with seven volunteer crew. The Severn Class ALB reached the trawler within 25 minutes.  The RNLI had been informed sea water had reached up to the deck plates from bilges and appeared to be coming in through the propeller shafts. More water appeared when under power, but the exact source and cause could not be identified. Photos, more, >>click here<< 15:45

Rescue operation launched after trawler runs aground in storm force winds

A rescue operation was launched after a vessel with three people on board ran aground in storm force winds. Two RNLI lifeboats went to the scene in the Strome narrows area of Loch Carron after the alarm was raised at 1:45pm on Wednesday. Kyle RNLI lifeboat Spirit of Fred. Olsen arrived on scene at 2:10pm. The lifeboat crew assessed the scene and found the vessel hard aground with the boat’s crew still on board but uninjured. The vessel had been dragging its mooring, and the three people on board had tried to maneuver out of the situation, however a chain had disabled their rudder, resulting in them drifting onto the rocks. more, >>click to read<< 07:03

Celebrating 200 Years of Lifesaving: Torbay Hosts RNLI Anniversary Events

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is set to mark its 200-year journey from 1824 to 2024, with a series of celebratory events in Torbay over the year, starting with two on Sunday, March 3rd and Monday, March 4th. These two events, organized by RNLI Torbay and led by Simon James, will kick off a year of activities which will be a testament to the dedication and bravery of the RNLI’s volunteer crews throughout its rich history. On Sunday, an historic ‘Blessing of the Fleet’ will unfold featuring all RNLI lifeboats from the South Devon coast, from Exmouth to Salcombe. The lifeboats will gather in the Bay before embarking in convoy along the Breakwater to Torbay RNLI’s berth where a special blessing ceremony will be conducted by the Fishermen’s Mission Area Officer for Devon, Helen Lovell-Smith, Helen said, Photos, more, >>click to read<< 11:48

Kyle & Mallaig lifeboats launched to trawler hard aground at Kylerhea narrows

Kyle lifeboat Spirit of Fred. Olsen launched into a snowstorm at 5:48pm, and made best speed towards the vessel, arriving on scene at 6:00pm. On arrival the vessel was on the rocks and was listing slightly to port, however the 7 crew on board were all accounted for and uninjured. The UK Coastguard helicopter from Inverness arrived on scene, however at this point there was no danger to the crew so the helicopter was stood down and returned to base. The fishing vessel’s crew readied their life raft and got prepared to abandon the vessel should the boat capsize. The lifeboat could not get alongside the trawler but stood by to rescue any fishermen who entered the water. 2 photos, more >>click to read<< 19:00

Cromer fisherman rescued after being dragged out to sea

Sheringham Lifeboat was called out at 5.30pm on Sunday to aid a fisherman who was thought to be in distress.  On arrival at the scene, the fisherman was back in his boat having been assisted by several onlookers. The fisherman had been setting his nets off Sheringham West Beach when his foot caught in the rope. The boat was still in gear but ran ashore and grounded itself on the bank. Several onlookers ran onto the beach and turned the boat around, relaunching it just as Sheringham Lifeboat arrived. >>click to read<< 09:11

Surprise ‘farewell’ for award-winning lifeboat cox Mark – but he’s not going far

Award-winning Torbay RNLI’s coxswain Mark Criddle is retiring after 17 years at the helm – but he is staying on as a crew member. Sunday was Mark’s last day leading out an exercise in the Bay as the ‘coxswain’. Old friends, family and crew surprised him on his return to the station. They were joined by the lifeboats from Exmouth, Teignmouth, and Dartmouth, which had come across to escort Torbay’s Severn Class lifeboat home and to celebrate Mark’s formal retirement. The trawlers of Brixham also hooted as he helmed Brixham’s Severn Class all-weather lifeboat back to her moorings. It was a moving event for those watching, and a fitting tribute to Mark’s long and dedicated service. Photos, >lick to read< 09:35


Thirty-five fishers gained life-saving training at Man Overboard sessions in the Errigal Training Centre, Falcarragh, Co. Donegal this weekend. The classes were provided free of charge by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, in partnership with the RNLI. The sessions are designed to provide fishers with the experience of falling into cold sea conditions, wearing full work clothing and without their Personal Floatation Device (PFD), or lifejacket as they are commonly known. This is then followed by the same experience with a correctly fitted PFD. >click to read< 08:31

Lifeboatman of 60 years ‘dumbfounded’ to receive British Empire Medal

Helping to save lives at sea for more than 60 years means he is no stranger to thank you’s. But Cromer 93-year-old Edwin Luckin said he was bowled over when he heard he would receive a particularly big ‘thank you’ – a British Empire Medal. Mr Luckin, who is known to everyone as Ted, has been included on the official list of New Year’s honours for his services to maritime safety. He said: “I was dumbfounded when it came through. My daughter got onto me and said ‘my mother would have been proud of you’.” Mr Luckin said the BEM – awarded for meritorious community service worthy of recognition by the Crown – was a great honour and a nice way to round out a long career of involvement with Cromer’s RNLI station. Photos, >click to read< 13:03

Fishing vessel sinks off Lizard Point

A fishing vessel sank off the coast of Lizard Point yesterday (Saturday, October 12) – and two people had to be rescued. On social media, the Lizard Lifeboat reported the request to launch was called-in at 12:33PM after hearing distress calls from the “Crig A Tana” fishing boat. At the scene, there was no sign of the stricken “Crig A Tana” vessel, but the crew were safe, despite having been forced to abandon the vessel after it started to suddenly sink. The two people who were rescued are also members of the lifeboat crew themselves. >click to read< 08:45

Andy Robertson surprises Child of Courage Keiran Reid with his Pride of Scotland award

Keiran Reid got the shock of his life when his footballing hero Andy Robertson surprised him with the news he had won a Pride of Scotland Award. Keiran’s jaw hit the floor when Andy approached him and handed him an envelope containing a ticket which declared he was the winner of the Child of Courage Award. The 12-year-old schoolboy from Avoch, on the Black Isle has raised thousands for his local RNLI in memory of his fisherman father who was tragically taken by the sea. The schoolboy was just six when fisherman Craig, 25, was washed overboard from the trawler Apollo in a gale-force storm off Orkney. Photos, >click to read< 08:46

Training for new recruits needs to be extended says Seafish.

Simon Potten, Head of Safety and Training, discusses how local engagement and more training could be the key to making the fishing industry safer. During Maritime Safety Week (4-8 July) which was a great platform for raising national awareness of safety in the commercial fishing industry. We have been supporting Maritime Safety Week since it was started by the Department for Transport in 2018. In those five years there have been 23 deaths on commercial fishing vessels in the UK. Unfortunately, most of them came in 2021 when we tragically lost 10 fishermen. The worst year in over a decade for lives lost. Which is why I think Maritime Safety Week is more important this year than ever before. So, what can we do to make the fishing industry safer? >click to continue< 12:13

Fishermen say survival training could prove vital

Five fishermen have undertaken man overboard training to help reduce incidents at sea. The free in-water courses held in Aberdeen, demonstrate how to avoid overboard incidents, and what can be done to recover and improve the chances of survival. The environment pool training facility at energy sector training provider Survivex, which simulates some of the conditions experienced at sea, including heavy swells and rain. The session was funded by the Fishing Industry Safety Group, a partnership between the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, RNLI, fishermen’s associations from across the UK and public body Seafish. >click to read< 18:30

F/V Nicola Faith: Grieving families in lasting legacy vow on anniversary of dreadful tragedy

One year ago today three fishermen went to sea on the F/V Nicola Faith and they never returned home. The boat set off from Conwy Harbour on January 27, 2021 to fish the seas off Colwyn Bay. On the anniversary of that terrible day, the families of the three men have revealed the pain and anguish of the last 12 months and their determination to create a lasting legacy to their boys. They recently attended a “man-overboard recovery and life jacket training” session at the RNLI’s their purpose-built college in Poole. In an interview with the RNLI, Ross Ballantine’s sister Lowri Taylor said: “One year on, we’re wanting to create a lasting legacy to the boys and use our experience to share our story and hopefully save more lives. photos, video, >click to read< 21:24

Penlee Lifeboat: Forty years later, pre-Christmas bravery still marked by heartrending village ritual

Forty years ago this weekend, the Penlee lifeboat Solomon Browne was launched into hurricane-force winds that had whipped up 50ft waves off the treacherous Cornish coast. The crew of eight experienced volunteer lifeboatmen were attempting to reach a stricken coaster, the Union Star, which was in danger of drifting on to rocks. What followed was an audacious act of seamanship in extreme conditions which nearly succeeded in saving those in peril. Instead, it is remembered as one of the greatest tragedies in the 197-year history of the RNLI.,, The Coastguard telephones Trevelyan Richards, 56, a trawler skipper who has been coxswain of the Penlee lifeboat Solomon Browne for the past 11 years. It explains the plight of the Union Star and asks Trevelyan to put his crew on standby. As his widowed mother, Mary, lays the table for supper, he starts phoning senior crew members to warn them they may be needed. photos, >click to read< 19:17

Sussex RNLI remember F/V Joanna C tragedy on first anniversary

38-year-old Robert Morley and 26-year-old Adam Harper drowned when their boat sank on the 21st of November 2020. The captain of the boat, Dave Bickerstaff, was pulled from the water after he was found clinging to a lifebuoy. The 45ft scalloping boat put out an emergency distress beacon at around 6am, with two RNLI lifeboats and a helicopter joining the search, which at one point involved 17 vessels and was one of the largest ever undertaken on the Newhaven coast. photos, >click to read<08:11

One last rescue: Bid to restore ex-RNLI boat that saved six people on its last call out

More than 90 years ago the RNLI took ownership of its newest vessel, W&S, which would have a dramatic 40-year career and save the lives of six seaman on its last call out. Now, maritime journalist Graeme Ewens is ensuring the life of the W&S is celebrated with the publication of the boat’s ‘nautobiography’ next month. The book details every service conducted by the boat, identifying the casualty vessels and people involved with memories of crew members and survivors. Measuring 45ft 6in, the Watson Cabin class boat was named after her benefactors, Winifred Coode and Captain Sydney Webb, when she was brought in to service in February 1931. Among its memorable call outs were several dramatic shipwrecks, including the heroic rescue of the crew from the battleship HMS Warspite, which ran aground in a gale in Mount’s Bay in 1947. >click to read< 09:38

Investigation finds Co Wexford boat capsized due to loss of stability

The FV Alize sank on January 4th, 2020, near the end of a 36-hour trip dredging for scallops. The two men on board were Joe Sinnott from Kilmore Quay, and William Whelan from Saltmills, Co Wexford. Shortly before 11pm, Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter R117, and a Dunmore east RNLI lifeboat were tasked with responding to an emergency beacon, about 12km off Hook Head.,, Less than two hours before the boat capsized the skipper called a family member and told them they had 29 bags of scallops on board, and were on the final trawl, after which they would be returning home.  >click to read< 09:31