Although conditions were calm and the crew were in no immediate danger, the westerly wind was extremely cold and blowing the fishing boat offshore.
The call to lifeboat operations manager Kevin Byers came in at 5.06pm yesterday evening (29 March) and the lifeboat launched at 5.15pm.
The lifeboat made its way to the reported position to the south of the Gobbins outside Belfast Lough, only to find the boat wasn’t there, and they were only able to locate it by radioing the boat for a position update.
On arrival, the volunteer lifeboat crew made sure the boat and crew were sound, and towed the boat to Carrickfergus Harbour, where they were thanked by an extremely grateful skipper.
Helming Tabby Cat, the temporary replacement for Bangor's regular lifeboat Jessie Hillyard, Bangor RNLI crewmember Gareth Whan said: “An incident like this emphasises the importance of good engine maintenance, particularly as many boats have been unused over the winter months.
“It also demonstrates the importance of warm clothing, as the crew of the rescued boat were extremely cold by the time we reached them – it is always much cooler on the water than it is on dry land.”