Belfast Telegraph

Video: Six fishermen rescued in 15 hour call out by Portrush RNLI amid stormy weather conditions

By Claire Williamson

Six fishermen have been rescued during a gruelling 15 hour call out by the Portrush RNLI in rough weather conditions after their fishing boat suffered engine failure.

It happened on Sunday night at 10.37pm when the lifeboat crew were tasked by Belfast Coastguard to launch their all-weather lifeboat to go to the assistance of a 15m fishing vessel which had suffered engine failure 10 miles north of Malin Head off the Donegal coast.

The all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Mark Mitchell and with six crew members onboard made its way to the scene in stormy conditions.

The weather was overcast with showers and moderate seas but the conditions progressed to a force 8 south westerly gale as the lifeboat approached Malin Head.

The lifeboat arrived on scene at 00.45am and the crew assessed that the six fishermen were safe and well before working with them to establish a towline.

After the tow was set up the lifeboat proceeded to take the fishing vessel into Lough Swilly.

However, as the weather conditions continued to deteriorate with both the tide and wind against them, they made the decision to tow the boat into Greencastle.

During what was a slow tow, the lifeboat was assisted by Lough Swilly RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat which launched at 8am and assisted in bringing the fishing boat into Greencastle and putting the boat on its moorings.

The Portrush lifeboat crew arrived back at their station at approximately 1.15pm on Monday.

Keith Gilmore, Portrush RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: "This has been a long and challenging call out for our volunteers in what were rough weather conditions but they were delighted to have been of assistance to the six fishermen who we would like to commend for doing the right thing and raising the alarm when their boat sustained engine failure.

"This call out is a fine example of volunteers showing their willingness to forgo a night’s sleep and the comfort of a warm bed and some food and using their skill and experience to face challenging weather conditions to help bring others to safety."

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