Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Long haul to get Ilfracombe trawler home

11:04 10 October 2012

A tow line is thrown to Ilfracombe trawler Our Olivia Belle by a member of Tenby lifeboat crew. RNLI/Tenby.

A tow line is thrown to Ilfracombe trawler Our Olivia Belle by a member of Tenby lifeboat crew. RNLI/Tenby.


Video: Our Olivia Belle brought safely home by three lifeboat crews and her sister ship after steering fails.

A STRICKEN Ilfracombe fishing trawler was rescued after being towed for more than 14 hours across the Bristol Channel.

The 200-tonne plus Our Olivia Belle lost steering in lumpy seas off the South Wales coast in the early hours of Monday morning.

Tenby lifeboat launched just before 2am and the decision was made to tow her back to Ilfracombe.

At 6am the Ilfracombe all weather lifeboat Spirit of Derbyshire took over the tow, but in challenging seas and at a crawl of only three-and-a-half knots, progress was very slow.

The trawler is towed back towards Ilfracombe by both Appledore and Ilfracombe lifeboats. Pic: RNLI/Ilfracombe.The trawler is towed back towards Ilfracombe by both Appledore and Ilfracombe lifeboats. Pic: RNLI/Ilfracombe.

Appledore lifeboat was called out to assist and arrived at 11.30 am, still 12 miles from Ilfracombe.

For a time the two lifeboats towed the trawler together, but when Ilfracombe’s tow line broke, Appledore continued alone.

The trawlers sister ship Our Josie Grace, also owned by the Wharton family, was enroute to help and now only an hour away.

Ilfracombe’s lifeboat headed back refuel and give the crew a well earned break, while Appledore lifeboat kept towing until it was taken over by Our Josie Grace.

At 6pm the two trawlers finally sighted Ilfracombe and home. The lifeboat launched again, joined by the inshore lifeboat to help bring the trawler safely to harbour.

The Ilfracombe lifeboat volunteers finally got home at midnight, meaning they had been away for 20 hours.

“The team work showed by the crew was amazing, especially in the very testing conditions. It goes to show all the training we do is worthwhile and certainly helped bring the Our Olivia Belle back to a safe haven,” said coxswain Andrew Bengey.

* WATCH a video here of the Tenby lifeboat crew’s efforts during the first stage of the tow.


Other News Stories

Yesterday, 22:37
North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones

Mr Heaton-Jones said he had received ‘a great many emails’ from people in North Devon on all sides of the argument

Read more
Yesterday, 14:27
Singer Ella Eyre is supporting the Dogs Trust campaign this Christmas

Dogs Trust reveals the shocking, lazy and farcical excuses used by people dumping their pets in the last 12 months

Read more
Yesterday, 10:30
Bike Shed store manager Paul Belton and Smuggler organiser Marcus Chapman present the cheque to Emma Lowe of North Devon Hospice. Picture: Leo Cooper

Smuggler sportive organisers announce dates for next year’s pedal-pounding ride

Read more
Yesterday, 09:58
Police will be testing motorists for drink driving over Christmas

Officers will be on patrol throughout December

Read more
Yesterday, 08:55
Traffic jam

Traffic is moving slowly through Barnstaple town centre this morning (Tuesday) following a crash at the TA centre roundabout between Eastern Avenue and Alexandra Road.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:30
Caroline Cree of Devon Air Ambulance Trust and Alex Bass of Vospers Mazda hand over the keys to car draw winner Tony White (centre). Picture: Submitted

Devon Air Ambulance Trust supporter Tony White of Combe Martin has picked up they keys to a brand new Mazda2.

Read more
Mon, 12:45
Lorraine Cleverdon and Chris Taylor from Highbullen Hotel (pictured with host Judi Spiers and Simon Crichton from sponsor Triodos Bank) pick up one of two awards on the night. Picture: Nick Williams

Gold, silver and bronze at glittering evening for local hotels, restaurants and attractions.

Read more
Mon, 11:52
An artist's impression of how the food and retail area at Anchorwood Bank will look

Developers have submitted a planning application for the food and retail area of the Anchorwood Bank development.

Read more
Mon, 10:25

Open evening at Appledore Fire Station on Thursday, December 3.

Read more
Mon, 10:21
Torridge MP Geoffrey Cox is joined by pupils from Holsworthy Community College and Shebbear College as he presents the first stage of his Parliamentary Petition on rural roads to 10 Downing Sreet. Picture: Submitted

Government urged to do more to improve the condition of rural roads

Read more

Christmas in North Devon

Christmas in North Devon

Christmas Magazine

Click here for your ultimate guide to
Christmas in North Devon

Local Weather



max temp: 11°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Search for a job in Devon

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications