Stricken pleasure fishing boat rescued after going out without radio or GPS (From The Northern Echo)
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RNLI crews warn against going to sea without essential equipment
LIFEBOAT crews warned boats not to take to sea without the relevant equipment after stricken fishing boat was rescued on Friday.
A small pleasure fishing boat had put to sea without a radio or GPS system, had got lost in the mist and power had failed, while it was just off the coast at Hartlepool.
Hartlepool RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Berry Huntbatch was launched just before 6pm – and the only clue they had as to where the stricken boat was that the crew could see a cliff through the mist with caravans on top.
The crew on the boat were in touch with the Coastguard via mobile telephone.
The vessel was quickly spotted and by 6.18pm Hartlepool RNLI’s volunteer crew members were towing it back to Hartlepool Fish Quay.
Mike Craddy, Hartlepool RNLI Operations Manager, said: “We cannot stress strongly enough that if you are going to sea, even if you are not going far, it is important that you have the correct equipment. A radio and GPS are the least you should have. This could have turned into a serious incident if the mobile phone had fallen into the sea or if the battery had gone dead.”
Meanwhile, fellow lifeboat volunteers back onshore spotted a 23-ft yacht in difficulties with a sudden thunderstorm which was passing through Hartlepool Bay at about 7pm.
The two-man crew from Hartlepool was returning from a day’s sailing when the wind tore one of the sails down as they were preparing to enter Hartlepool Marina and the sail rope became wrapped around the yacht’s propeller.
The increasing wind was pushing the yacht towards shore so the crew turned the boat around and was heading away from the Marina. Lifeboat crews managed to fix a towline to the bow of the yacht and release the propeller. The yacht was towed safely back to the Marina and was left at 7.40pm.
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