Hartlepool fishermen save two lives without telling the Coastguard

Humber Coastguard has requested that any members of the public saving lives on the water, should identify themselves to prevent unnecessary deployment of official rescue resources.

At half past seven on the evening of 3 June, Humber Coastguard received a 999 call reporting two boys clinging to a navigation buoy marking the channel into Hartlepool docks.

During the process of Humber Coastguard calling out Hartlepool Coastguard Rescue Team and inshore lifeboat, a report came in from the lifeboat station reporting that they had seen a fishing vessel rescuing the boys from the buoy.

The two boys were landed at Hartlepool fish quay by the fishing vessel. The inshore lifeboat recovered the boys’ canoe, the deck of which had separated from the hull. They had also lost the oar.

The boys were dressed in swimming trunks and had been clinging to the navigation buoy for fifteen minutes after their canoe took on water and capsized.

Humber Coastguard called the fishing vessel on VHF Marine radio without any response.

Graham Dawson, Humber Coastguard said:

‘The two teenage boys were ill prepared for their canoeing activity. The vessel was not fit to put to sea. They had no life saving apparatus of any kind and were not suitably clothed.

‘They were fortunate that the skipper of the fishing vessel spotted them and recovered them from their predicament. The outcome of this incident could have been a lot worse.

‘We ask that if you rescue someone from a distress situation, that you inform the Coastguard to prevent rescue services unnecessarily searching after individuals have already been recovered.’