Sunderland RNLI assist sinking catamaran


Date: 13/02/2012

Author: Paul Nicholson, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer

Lifeboat volunteers from Sunderland RNLI Station took part in a 3 hour long rescue mission this afternoon to rescue a sinking 30ft catamaran from moorings at Deptford.

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The rescue mission was launched shortly after 3:15pm (13 February) when Coastguard Officers based at Humber Coastguard Marine Rescue Coordination Centre received an emergency 999 telephone call from the owner of the vessel stating that his catamaran had became holed on rocks and that he was struggling to stabilise the water level with his own pump.

Officers immediately contacted Martin Andrew, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Sunderland RNLI to request the launch of both inshore lifeboats, as well as deploying their own Coastguard Rescue Team from Sunderland.

Paul Nicholson, Senior Helmsman at Sunderland RNLI said: ‘When our first lifeboat arrived; they discovered that the skippers own pump was struggling to stabilise the water level. We immediately prepared our own pump to help reduce the water level’.

Once the water level was reduced and stabilised; the catamaran was taken in tow by the two inshore lifeboats back to corporation quay where it had been agreed that the port would lift out the vessel.

In a joint operation involving port workers, RNLI crews, and Coastguards the mast and then the hull of the catamaran were lifted out of the water to safety.

Paul added ‘Both the RNLI and the owner were extremely grateful to the staff at Sunderland Port for offering their assistance to help a fellow mariner in distress. The fact that they were able to use their industrial crane to lift it clear of the water and onto the quayside made the whole operation a lot easier to bring to a successful conclusion’.

As a registered charity the RNLI relies on voluntary donations and legacies from the public for its income.

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