#RESCUE – Lifeboat crew with Howth RNLI spent over ten hours on Saturday (4 February 2012) assisting a 17 metre fishing tralwer, with seven crew onboard, 36 miles north east of Howth, which was rapidly taking on water.
Howth RNLI were requested to launch their all weather lifeboat to the fishing vessel at 1.08 pm on Saturday afternoon and it would be nearly ten and a half hours later when they returned to the harbour with the casualty vessel under tow.
The Irish Coast Helicopter were also on scene to help the stricken vessel and a winchman delivered a salvage pump onboard to help the crew try and staunch the water. With the lifeboat on scene the Coast Guard helcopter returned to base and the lifeboat crew worked quickly to establish a tow in difficult conditions. Weather was force six with a strong southerly wind.
Keeping the casualty vessel under tow in bad conditions proved challenging and the rope parted a couple of times. Sixteen miles north east of Howth the fishing crew reported that the water coming into the vessel was increasing and the tow was stopped. A lifeboat crewmember was transferred onto the fishing trawler and a new salvage pump was put onboard. The source of the leak was identified and action taken to stem the flow of water. The lifeboat once again undertook the tow and eventually arrived into Howth harbour at 10.25pm. All crew onboard the fishing vessel were unhurt.
Commenting on the callout Howth RNLI crewmember Dave Howard said, " This was a long callout for our all weather lifeboat crew. Condtions were not great offshore and going from the lifeboat onto the casualty vessel in a two to three metre swell was very challenging. However when a fishing vessel reports taking on water, it is vital to make sure that the crew are safe and that the tow does not part. We are relieved that all crew got home safe."