Portaferry RNLI Rescue Two Men Near St John’s Point

Portaferry RNLI has come to the aid of two men on a vessel in danger of sinking west of St John’s Point Lighthouse near Killough.

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Portaferry RNLI has come to the aid of two men on a vessel in danger of sinking west of St John’s Point Lighthouse near Killough.

Portaferry RNLI came to the aid of two men this morning (Wednesday 8 September) after their 9m rib took on water and was in danger of sinking off St John’s Point Lighthouse in county Down. Newcastle RNLI also responded.

The volunteer crew at Portaferry RNLI were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat by Belfast Coastguard at 11.06am following a Pan Pan alert. The report was that the vessel was sinking one mile west of St John’s Point. Meanwhile, Newcastle RNLI was requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat.

The Portaferry RNLI Atlantic 85 rescue RIB on its way to St John’s Point.

The inshore lifeboat from Portaferry helmed by Chris Adair and with crew members Simon Exley, George Toma and Ian Sands onboard, launched immediately and made its way to the scene approximately 25 minutes away.

Weather conditions at the time were good with clear skies, moderate visibility due to a sea fog, smooth seas and a light breeze.

Arriving first on scene, the Portaferry lifeboat crew observed that the men onboard the boat were safe and well and were already using their own salvage pump to deal with the ingress of water.

The lifeboat helm transferred a crew member onboard the boat with another salvage pump should it be required.

However, having assessed the situation and with the crew’s own pump coping well with the intake of water, a decision was made to escort the vessel to the nearest safe port at Ardglass Harbour.

Newcastle RNLI was subsequently stood down. On arrival at Ardglass, the vessel was assisted by the Newcastle Coastguard team. 

Speaking following the call out, Portaferry RNLI Helm Chris Adair said: “The men onboard the vessel acted quickly this morning which ensured that help was with them in good time should the situation have deteriorated.

“We would like to commend them for doing everything right in raising the alarm early on when they knew they were in difficulty, for wearing their lifejackets and for being prepared for the situation they encountered and using their own salvage pump.

“All these factors helped in keeping them safe and we were delighted to escort them back to Ardglass.”