Lifeboat averts disaster as pilot boat breaks down

Appledore’s RNLI crews come to the rescue as pilot boat overheats and leaves carrier waiting in the ocean.

THE RNLI came to the rescue of a broken down pilot boat in Bideford last week averting near disaster as the tide began to recede.

The Two Rivers 2 suffered an overheated engine while conveying pilot and harbour master Captain Roger Hoad to guide a waiting ship into Bideford Quay.

Appledore’s inshore lifeboat came to the rescue of the stranded pilot boat in the river mouth, transferring Captain Hoad to the awaiting Baltic Carrier so he could berth the ship safely.

The ebb of the tide was increasing in rate and the pilot boat began to drag her anchor in the blustery conditions.

But disaster was averted as Appledore’s all weather lifeboat towed the pilot boat and its crew to safety.

Captain Hoad said time was of the essence as the carrier ship was relatively deeply draughted to enable her to pass safely under the Bideford Bridge.

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He said: “The ship proceeded with all speed to Bideford, arriving on the berth with more than half a metre to spare, an hour and ten minutes after high water.

“We are extremely grateful to the RNLI who did a brilliant job, and we will be making a donation to thank them for their help.”

The Carrier’s Russian captain said he enjoyed his stay in the ‘city’ of Bideford and was looking forward to returning home to his family.

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