* Date: 25/04/2013
* Author: Paul Nicholson
Fundraising volunteers from around the north-east got more than they bargained for when attending their six monthly ‘cluster meeting’ at Sunderland RNLI lifeboat station last night (Wednesday 24 April).
As the meeting drew to a close; the crew’s pagers were activated to request the launch of Sunderland’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat.
The rescue mission was launched shortly after 08:30pm when Coastguard Officers based at Humber Coastguard Marine Rescue Coordination Centre received an emergency ‘999’ mobile telephone call from the crew stating that their vessel was drifting after losing power one and a half miles north -east of Sunderland Harbour Entrance.
Officers immediately contacted James Jamieson, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Sunderland RNLI to request the launch of their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Wolseley.
A shore-based Coastguard Rescue Team from Sunderland was also tasked to the incident to assist with locating the stricken vessel.
The lifeboat launched seven minutes later with four volunteers onboard under the command of Senior Helmsman Paul Nicholson.
The vessel and its crew (two male adults from South Shields) were quickly located and taken in tow by the inshore lifeboat back to their own moorings at Sunderland Marina.
The fishing vessel and the RNLI inshore lifeboat were met at the marina by Coastguard Officers.
Paul Nicholson, Senior Helmsman at Sunderland RNLI said: ‘Tonight’ launch proved to be a huge bonus for the fundraisers who were attending their regional meeting at the station. Several of the groups represented were inland groups; so it was nice that they got to see firsthand what all of their hard work raises money for’.
As a registered charity the RNLI relies on voluntary donations and legacies from the public for its income.