Being a fisherman is certainly the country’s most dangerous job.
A prawn trawler which had broken down and was drifting towards rocks at the mouth of Strangford Lough was plucked to safety by Newcastle lifeboat in a four-hour operation on Sunday night.
The Supreme, a 54-feet fishing vessel, was en route from Ardglass to the Firth of Clyde in Scotland to fish when its engine failed. The crew dropped the boat’s anchor, but with a moderate sea and a steady Force 4 wind blowing from the South, the trawler began to drift steadily towards rocks in the dark.
An RNLI spokesperson said: “Newcastle RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat, the Eleanor and Bryant Girling helmed by coxswain Mark Poland, was despatched to the scene close to the entrance to Strangford Lough shortly after midnight on Sunday.
“The inshore lifeboat from nearby Portaferry station was also sent to the trawler’s aid and a line was attached to the drifting vessel to keep it off the the rocks until Newcastle’s more powerful all-weather boat arrived.”
The Eleanor and Bryant Girling arrived at the scene at around 2am and the volunteer crew attached a new line to the fishing vessel. The trawler was then towed safely back to Ardglass, arriving at 3.30am. The Portaferry boat also accompanied the stricken vessel and assisted in getting her safely into the harbour. There were no reported injuries during the rescue.
Both lifeboats then returned to their respective stations, Newcastle ALB arriving back at its base at 4.30am.
Boat owner Tom Wills said: “It looks as though the Gardiner engine may have seized up. It will now have to go on the slip in Kilkeel for a check over and probably an overhaul. Thankfully the crew are all safe.”