The two men were rescued on Monday evening after their vessel sunk off the coast of Sunderland
Two fishermen were rescued off the coast of Sunderland on Monday after spending nine hours in a liferaft.
The pair had been fishing 12 miles off shore when the vessel’s net got caught on something on the seabed, causing it to be pulled under.
The 10m trawler foundered so quickly that they were unable to make a distress call but the liferaft floated free of the boat, as it’s designed to do, allowing them to climb aboard.
The Dutch yacht Jager came across the two men in their liferaft at 4.40pm after they had been drifting for nine hours and took them on board before contacting Humber Coastguard.
Hartlepool RNLI Lifeboat was then launched to pick the fishermen up and bring them back to shore.
Humber Coastguard watch manager Mike Pulpett, said: “Both of the fishermen are now safe and well, although a little shaken by their ordeal. We’d like to thank the Dutch yacht Jager, which rescued the men and went out of their way to ensure their safety.
“The fishing vessel’s liferaft was a life saver today and this incident highlights how important it is to ensure that liferafts are properly maintained and able to float free of the boat should the worst happen.
“Fishermen should wear personal flotation devices at all times whilst on deck. Even if the liferaft floats free, getting into one is no mean feat, especially if the weather is more volatile than today’s relatively calm seas.”
Mr Pulpett and his team are still hopeful that they’ll be able to find the wreckage of the sunken boat using a search and rescue information system.
RNLI coxwain Gary Waugh, said: “The two fishermen are very lucky to be alive considering how quickly their boat sank and how long they were drifting in open water.”