Seven rescued from sinking catamaran off Lynmouth
SEVEN people were rescued from a sinking catamaran just outside Lynmouth harbour yesterday afternoon (Wednesday). Swansea Coastguard picked up a faint distress message from the Ocean Blue just before 2pm. It said the two crew and five passengers needed
SEVEN people were rescued from a sinking catamaran just outside Lynmouth harbour yesterday afternoon (Wednesday).
Swansea Coastguard picked up a faint distress message from the Ocean Blue just before 2pm.
It said the two crew and five passengers needed urgent assistance as the port side of the 10-metre twin-engined catamaran was immersed in water.
A rescue helicopter from Chivenor on exercise in the area was diverted to the scene and a nearby vessel, seeing the drama unfold, launched a dinghy to take the five passengers from the Ocean Blue. They were landed on the beach at Lynmouth.
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Lynmouth Coastguard Rescue Team was sent to the area and the Ilfracombe all-weather lifeboat was requested to attend.
Steve Jones, the Swansea Coastguard watch manager, said: "The remaining two crew were airlifted off the vessel by helicopter after the Ocean Blue began to heel to 45 degrees and became unstable sat on the salmon weir posts at the eastern side of the fairway into Lynmouth. She has now sunk in three metres of water.
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"We have informed the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and, of course, the harbour authority is well aware of the obstruction this will cause to the entrance of the harbour to other vessels.
The Ocean Blue was an Ilfracombe-based sightseeing boat which took parties on wildlife cruises to Lynmouth.
It had been running a series of Hidden Edge of Exmoor tours allowing passengers to enjoy the coastal scenery and watch seals and dolphins.
After time ashore at Lynmouth, a coach would meet them to take them baco to Ilfracombe, while the party brought to Lynmouth by the coach would return to Ilfracombe by boat.