Portsmouth warship comes to the rescue of sinking boat

HMS SEVERN    Photo: LA(Phot) Al Macleod
HMS SEVERN Photo: LA(Phot) Al Macleod
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A WARSHIP from Portsmouth was scrambled to help rescue stricken sailors trapped on a sinking boat off the Isle of Man yesterday.

HMS Severn rushed to respond to the mayday call from the Spinaway Isla, with the support of a helicopter from Devonport-based frigate HMS Somerset.

The battered boat, with three adults and one child aboard, flashed an SOS in the small hours when she lost power and began to take on water about a dozen miles west of the Isle of Man.

Severn was just 20 miles away on fishery protection duties and rushed to the scene, while 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 the effort coordinated by Belfast Coastguard.

The lifeboat was first to reach the Spinaway Isla, five minutes ahead of Severn, and put crewmen across with a pump to help stabilise the stricken vessel.

Severn remained on the scene until the RNLI crew were satisfied the boat was safe, and then escorted it into Peel harbour.

‘I was very impressed by my ship’s company’s ability to take the initiative at any time, day our night, and be ready to provide assistance in short order,’ said Lieutenant Commander James Reynolds, Severn’s commanding officer.

‘What is equally impressive and heartening is the number of fellow mariners who attended the scene to help.’

Nobody was seriously injured in the emergency.