On Tuesday 3 March at 8.54am New Quay RNLI’s Mersey class lifeboat, the Frank and Lena Clifford of Stourbridge was paged to assist a 16m, 60 ton whelk fishing vessel, approximately 24 miles north west of New Quay, in moderate sea conditions and winds of force 5-7.
Following a Pan Pan call requesting urgent assistance, the volunteer crew of New Quay’s all-weather lifeboat launched immediately and located the stricken fishing vessel after a journey of nearly two hours into Cardigan Bay.
Dan Potter, New Quay RNLI’s Coxswain said, “We launched in good time into uncomfortable but manageable seas. By 11.00am we had located the fishing vessel, with 5 persons on board. The vessel had a fouled propeller which resulted in total loss of drive. We established a tow and began the passage towards Fishguard harbour.
“With conditions turning more favourable as we approached Fishguard, we requested the launch of Fishguard RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat to take over the tow. At 3.30pm we handed over the tow to Fishguard lifeboat and returned to New Quay by 5pm.”
The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea and relies on voluntary donations to maintain its rescue service.
Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager added, “It was a long shout for our volunteer crew, who were at sea for eight hours. It was a textbook recovery and the crew’s commitment to training throughout the year was put to good use.
“It has already been a busy winter for our crew and, yesterday, Wednesday 4 March, the all-weather lifeboat was again requested to launch to a fishing vessel in difficulty but was stood down just before launching.
“Our crews are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so, if you see anyone in trouble on the coast or in the sea, do not hesitate to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”