Early morning wake up call for lifeboat volunteers

Lifeboat volunteers from Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station received an early morning wakeup call yesterday when they were alerted at 05.02am to an unmanned fishing vessel, which was drifting close to Corporation Quay, River Wear.

The rescue mission was launched after Coastguard Officers received a telephone call from Sunderland Port Control informing them about an unmanned fishing boat (8m) which had broken free from its moorings and was drifting down the river past Corporation Quay.

Coastguard Officers immediately contacted Martin Andrew, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Sunderland RNLI, to request the launch of their Atlantic 85 Inshore Lifeboat James Dugdale.

After locating the boat, it was taken in tow by the RNLI lifeboat before being transferred back to its own mooring near to Sunderland Fish Quay.

Paul Nicholson, Senior Helmsman at Sunderland RNLI said, “The initial concern was that this vessel would end up colliding with one of the commercial barges on Corporation Quay or the yachts moored at Sunderland Yacht Club.

“Although there was no people onboard this vessel; we were happy to launch and return it to its moorings to prevent it from either causing damage to other vessels or becoming a navigational hazard.”

Once satisfied that the vessel was secure on its moorings, the lifeboat returned to station where it was refuelled and ready for service again by 07.15am.