Two Royal Navy ships, three helicopters, a fishing vessel and the Peel RNLI lifeboat responded to a Mayday call from a sinking boat off the Isle of Man in the early hours of this morning
HMS Somerset scrambled her helicopter and HMS Severn diverted to the scene when the Spinaway Isla, with three adults and one child aboard, flashed an SOS in the small hours.
The stricken 20m (65ft) converted trawler had lost power and begun taking on water about 11 miles west of Peel.
Severn was just 20 miles away on fishery protection duties and rushed to the scene, while frigate HMS Somerset, conducting training in the Irish Sea, launched her Merlin helicopter.
A fishing boat, Coastguard helicopter and the Peel lifeboat were also dispatched to the scene in a rescue effort coordinated by Belfast Coastguard.
The shout came at 1 30am and the Peel lifeboat Ruby Clery was launched very shortly after, under the command of coxswain Paul Cain.
The converted fishing vessel had been on passage from Glasgow to Conwy when it started taking water through the stern tube and was in danger of sinking.
The Northern Irish fishing vessel Stephanie M gave shelter to the casualty until Peel lifeboat and its volunteer crew were able to put a pump on board.
The vessel with three adults and one child on board was stabilised and helicopters and other vessels stood down.
The trawler was then taken in tow by the lifeboat bound for Peel, during this time the young woman and child on board were taken ill so the tow was dropped about 15 minutes from Peel and the two taken into Peel to a waiting ambulance where they were treated and transported to Nobles hospital.
Meanwhile the lifeboat returned to the stricken vessel which was now under way on its own and escorted it into Peel harbour at about 5am.
Coxswain Paul Cain, said: ‘We advise people to always check their equipment before leaving port.’
A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesman said: ‘Shortly after 1.15am today, a 20ft vessel issued a Mayday call to the UK Coastguard after it began taking on water in the middle of the Irish Sea, 16 miles west of the Isle of Man.
‘HMS Somerset and fishing vessel Stefanie M were a few miles away when they picked up the UK Coastguard’s Mayday Relay Broadcast asking for assistance from vessels in the area. Stefanie M and HMS Somerset’s helicopter responded immediately to the scene and HMS Somerset altered course to make its way to the stricken vessel.
‘UK Coastguard also tasked UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Prestwick and the Peel RNLI all weather lifeboat to assist the operation.
‘The Royal Navy helicopter and the fishing vessel kept the sinking vessel under a safe wing until the arrival of the Lifeboat.
‘Four persons on board the vessel, three adults and one child are safe and well and are now being escorted to shore with their vessel.’
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