Fishermen rescued after boat capsizes on Bideford Bar

Rescuers pluck relieved men from hull of upturned vessel.

TWO fishermen were rescued from the sea after their boat capsized on Bideford Bar earlier this evening (Friday).

The alarm was raised shortly after 6pm when a member of the public dialled 999 to report that a boat with a red hull had ‘disappeared’ on the bar.

Swansea Coastguard alerted Appledore RNLI and rescuers managed to reach the 16ft fishing boat ‘Sophie Jane’ using the inshore lifeboat.

Crews found the two crew men sitting on the upturned hull of the boat. They managed to refloat the vessel and brought it, and the two men, back to Appledore where they were met by the Westward Ho! Coastguard Rescue Team.

David Jones Swansea Coastguard watch manager said: “It appears that the fishing vessel broke down on its way back to Bideford and was tipped over by the waves on the Bideford Bar.

“It happened so quickly that the crew didn’t have time to call for assistance and were lucky that a member of the public spotted the vessel disappearing from the horizon. Luckily the men didn’t need any medical attention.

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“We recommend that commercial fishermen wear a personal floatation device and that all vessels are fitted with VHF DSC radio equipment that can sent a distress alert.

“It should also be linked up to GPS so an accurate position of your vessel is received by the Coastguard.”

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