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King's Lynn fishing boat issues mayday

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A fishing vessel from Lynn found itself the subject of a major rescue mission.

Wells lifeboat launched its all-weather lifeboat at 00.51am yesterday to render immediate assistance to a 14m Lynn-registered fishing vessel with two crew onboard, which had put out a mayday call, as she was taking on water and in danger of sinking.

The fishing vessel had been trawling two miles north of Scolt Head Island near Brancaster when she quickly started to take on water through the stern gland.


Wells RNLI’s Mersey class lifeboat, the Doris Mann of Ampthill, left the station at 1.12am and was towed on its carriage along the beach to the low water launch site in Holkham bay. At this time, due to the severity of the Mayday call, Skegness RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat and the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter were also requested to the incident.

Wells RNLI launched in Holkham Bay at 1.46am and immediately set course toward the fishing vessel. First on the scene was the Coastguard helicopter with the Skegness and Wells RNLI lifeboats arriving within minutes of each other at 2.10am.

The rescue helicopter circled overhead whilst both lifeboats put crew members onboard and rigged up two salvage pumps which quickly reduced the water level onboard, enabling the helicopter to stand down and return to station.

With the vessel stabilised and in a position to be towed, a tow line was rigged from the Wells RNLI lifeboat and the passage back to a safe mooring in Wells Harbour commenced at 3am.

Skegness RNLI stood by and escorted the Wells lifeboat and the fishing vessel all the way back toward Wells fairway. At 4am when safely in the approaches to Wells Harbour, the Skegness RNLI lifeboat recovered her salvage pump from the fishing vessel and set course back to Skegness.

The fishing vessel was then safely put on a drying mooring at 4.45am in the harbour and the lifeboat crew then assisted in tightening up the leaking stern gland to prevent any water ingress before returning to the station at 5.27am.

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