A volunteer crew with the Royal National Lifeboat Institute this weekend assisted in the rescue of 6 fishermen forced to abandon their trawler in waves described at 30+ feet and winds gusting to 60 m.p.h.
RNLI reports that a Padstow RNLI lifeboat and her crew were called out just after 4 p.m. Saturday to assist a French trawler that was having in difficulty due to the weather.
The fishing vessel had been struck by several large waves, causing them to lose power and steering. They were drifting approximately five miles off Trevose Head, north of Cornwall in the U.K. when the Padstow lifeboat along with a Royal Navy rescue helicopter were called to their aid.
Upon arrival, the crew of the trawler were forced abandon their vessel in survival suits because the sea state was too bad for a rescue helicopter to lift them from the deck of their vessel.
Five of the crew were picked up from the water by the Royal Navy rescue helicopter and the skipper was picked up by the RNLI lifeboat. All six crew were brought ashore safely.
“A great deal of credit must go the winch-man on the helicopter, the heavy sea conditions made his job very difficult as he was dragged in and out of the water with the rise and fall of the sea,” said Padstow lifeboat 2nd Coxswain Richard Pitman. “The conditions were challenging and it was a difficult rescue for all involved, we are pleased to have been able to assist.”