Round and round for Ilfracombe RNLI

Lifeboat rescues converted trawler that can only go around in circles...

THE crew of Ilfracombe lifeboat had the feeling they were going around in circles on Thursday morning when they were called out to assist a broken down boat.

In fact the converted trawler MV Sarah had no other choice – her engine was stuck in drive and her anchor firmly tethered to the bottom, leaving her crew distinctly dizzy as she went round and round on the end of her anchor rope.

The 17 metre vessel’s gearbox had overheated off Combe martin bay whilst she was on passage to Sharpness and she began taking on water, but then the anchor became snagged as those on board tried to sort out the problem.

They feared to cut the power in case they were unable to pump the water out and their 35 tonne vessel seemed doomed to be stuck in a watery rut.

Fortunately help was at hand in the form of the Ilfracombe all weather lifeboat, The Spirit of Derbyshire.

Second coxswain Carl Perrin did an excellent job of manoeuvring the lifeboat along side the constantly circling Sarah and place two lifeboat crewmen aboard to help.

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A salvage pump was passed across in case the water rose too high. It was then safe to stop the Sarah’s engine and the lifeboat helped to raise the anchor.

With the crew monitoring and pumping the vessel out, the Sarah was towed to the safety of Ilfracombe harbour.

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