Belfast Coastguard received the initial 999 telephone call for help from crew onboard a third leisure fishing vessel which was in the area. Reports indicate that a 33ft leisure fishing boat and a 35ft leisure fishing boat had both experienced engine failure and were adrift close to Belfast shipping routes.
Within minutes of the rescue pagers being activated, volunteer crews had launched Donaghadee and Bangor Lifeboats and were proceeding at full speed towards the disabled vessels.
The two stricken boats were located 1 mile south of the Salt Jetty.
Relative calm on scene weather conditions allowed crew from RNLI Bangor Lifeboat to rig a tow line with the smaller of the two boats; she was then taken under tow to the safety of Carrickfergus Harbour.
Thankfully crew onboard the larger vessel were able to make engine repairs while RNLI Donaghadee Lifeboat stood close by. The vessel was then escorted to the safety of Carrickfergus Harbour.
RNLI volunteer station officer Kevin Baird used these rescues to highlight a RNLI safety message when he said. We always urge everyone going afloat to make sure their engine and fuel systems and are well maintained and in good working order. Engine failure close to shore and commercial shipping routes could lead to a life threatening situation'. He added 'We're happy that everyone onboard both vessels are now safely ashore'.