Selsey Lifeboat Station - Launches

12th February 2021

Collision Between Tanker and Fishing Vessel Gives Selsey RNLI an Early Start

Trawler and Fishing Vessel Trawler and Fishing Vessel
Trawler and Fishing Vessel Trawler and Fishing Vessel

The pagers sounded at 3.08 a.m. on Friday 12th Feburary after the UK Coastguard received a Mayday call from the fishing vessel stating that they were taking on water after a collision with a tanker.

The Selsey all-weather Lifeboat (ALB) launched at 3.26 a.m. and made best speed to the position of the Belgian trawler 25 miles south-east of Selsey. The UK Coastguard reported that the six crew from the trawler might need evacuating from the vessel and that the Coastguard Rescue 175 (the rescue helicopter) had also been tasked from Lee-on-Solent. The weather was wind easterly force 8-9, sea state rough in clear sky.

The tanker, with a crew of 20, was requested to stand by the trawler until the Lifeboat arrived. After a rough passage in heavy seas the ALB arrived on scene at 4.58 a.m. and, with Rescue 175 already on scene, the tanker was released by the UK Coastguard. The ALB was requested to light up the trawlers hull to assess the damage as the skipper had said that the water ingress had stopped. The damage was above the water line on the bow and this was passed on to the skipper and UK. With this information the UK Coastguard stood down Rescue 175 to return to base.

At the time of the collision the trawler was fishing with his beams down. The nets were recovered before the arrival of the Lifeboat but the port side trawl beam was hanging down in the water because a steel wire used to haul it up had been damaged in the collision. The crew of the trawler worked for nearly an hour to repair the wire and were able to stow the trawl beam safely.

The skipper of the trawler checked that he had propulsion and steering before saying he was happy to continue to his home port without futher assistance. This was passed on to the UK Coastguard and the Lifeboat was released to return to Selsey, arriving back at 7.38 a.m. The Lifeboat was recovered, washed, refuelled and made ready for service by 9.30 a.m.

CREW: Rob Archibald (Coxswain), Phil Pitham (Mechanic), Max Gilligan, James Albrey, Andy Lee and Neil Hopcraft.