14 PEOPLE WINCHED FROM GROUNDED FISHING VESSEL Published: 01 February, 2011
Fourteen crew members have been rescued by a Coastguard Helicopter after a distress digital selective calling (DSC) alert was picked up by Stornoway Coastguard from a French fishing vessel.
At 11.36pm last night (Monday) Stornoway Coastguard received the distress DSC transmission alerting them to a vessel in distress on the Isle of Rum in the Inner Hebrides. Searches were carried out and it was discovered that it was the 46-metre fishing vessel the Jack Abry II.
Communications were initially difficult as the vessel had a 50 degree list onto rocks and the weather on scene was force 7/8 winds with a heavy sea swell. Stornoway Coastguard broadcast a mayday relay message to shipping in the area which was picked up by the nearby vessel Union Diamond, which went to the scene.
The Coastguard Helicopter from Stornoway, Mallaig RNLI lifeboat and Rum Coastguard Rescue Team were tasked.Mallaig lifeboat was first on scene, arriving at just after half past midnight. They reported that the weather was so poor that the safest way to take the crew from the vessel would be via helicopter.
The helicopter subsequently arrived at 1am and at 1.54am reported that they had all 14 crew members on board and were going back to their base in Stornoway.
Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team was sent to the landing site to assist with transferring the crew members, along with a member of Stornoways Fishermens Mission, who is helping to find accommodation for the crew.
Because of the nature of the vessels grounding on rocks, the MCAs Counter Pollution branch have been informed in order to ascertain whether there is any fuel leakage from the vessel.
The MCA Emergency Towing Vessel Anglian Earl has also been tasked to assist the casualty vessel and will be arriving in six hours.
Stornoway Coastguard Watch Manager David Smith said: “This was a very successful rescue of all 14 crewmen in what could have been different circumstances due to the severe weather conditions on scene”.