Two people rescued from sinking fishing boat near Steep Holm


Two people are safe and healthy after being rescued when their boat sank off Steep Holm Island in the Bristol Channel over the weekend.

Both reported that they had lost propulsion and were taking on water around 9.45am on Saturday.

The Coastguard called Weston RNLI for the sinking 60ft fishing boat which needed urgent help in the sea off the island of Steep Holm.

“The charity’s two inshore lifeboats were quickly launched from Knightstone Harbor with a lifesaving pump and seven crew on board to assist them,” a spokesperson said.

“The Trent-class all-weather lifeboat Barry Dock RNLI and the Coastguard 187 rescue helicopter from St Athan were also dispatched to the scene to assist the casualty vessel and crew on scene.”

“The Weston Atlantic 85 lifeboat, with coxswain Dave Ridout on his first scream since qualifying at the helm of this type of lifeboat, was the first asset to arrive at the scene of the victim.”

“He brought the lifeboat alongside the fishing vessel, then the crew quickly and safely transferred two injured people out of the stricken vessel.”

“A rescue pump was quickly put in place by the volunteers, but it soon became apparent that the vessel was taking on too much water and could not be saved.”

“The injured were transferred to the Barry Dock lifeboat and assessed for medical attention. Although they were shocked at how quickly the situation changed, they were deemed to be in good spirits and did not need any treatment.

“Just minutes after the lifeboats and helicopter arrived on scene, the vessel was lost in the sea as it disappeared below the surface.”

“With the gravity of the event and the speed with which it all happened, realized by the survivors and the lifeboat crew, the decision was made to return to Weston Lifeboat Station in Knightstone. The two injured were brought safely ashore for plans to be made to get them home.

“It was a very sad outcome for the fishing boat, but fortunately we were able to be on site quickly to help and bring the two victims back to the safety of shore and their families.”

“Both survivors are very experienced sailors who were well prepared with their safety equipment and call for help and evacuation procedures, which no doubt facilitated their quick rescue and recovery.”

Simon Twitchen, HM Coastguard’s senior maritime operations officer, added: “When things go wrong, anything can happen very quickly.”

“Those people on board did absolutely the right thing – they had life jackets and a life raft and they called us immediately.”

“Fortunately, they are now safe and sound.”

Watchet Coastguard said the pair were residents of Watchet Harbor Marina who were moving their boat to a new location when the sinking happened.

Pictured: The ongoing incident in the Bristol Channel over the weekend (RNLI)


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