Coastguard stands down from rescue after tugboat carrying two capsizes

RNLI lifeboats, police launch boats and rescue crafts were called to Custom House Quay at around 3.30pm on Friday.

Members of the coastguard have stood down from their role in a major rescue operation in Greenock after a tugboat with two crew members capsized in the River Clyde.

Emergency crews were called to Custom House Quay just before 3.30pm, after the tug flipped over.

The coastguard rescue helicopter and coastguard rescue teams were also at the scene.

The coastguard said there were two people on board the vessel when it capsized. They stood down the search at around 8pm.

Police have cordoned off the area near Custom House Quay in the Inverclyde town.

A Coastguard spokesperson said: “HM Coastguard has been responding to reports of a capsized vessel off Custom House Quay in Greenock today, February 24.

“It is believed the vessel had two crew members onboard.

“Just before 3.30pm Coastguard Rescue Teams from Helensburgh and Greenock, a lifeboat from Helensburgh RNLI and the Coastguard helicopter from Prestwick were sent to assist and searched the area.

“Multiple vessels on the Clyde in the vicinity of the incident also responded, including an MOD Police vessel.

“The Coastguard’s involvement in the surface search was terminated at 8pm.”

Paul English, an eyewitness from the scene, said he understood the “terrible gravity” of the situation when he saw a life ring in the water.

He told STV News: “By the time the Coast Guard helicopter had arrived and there were a lot more craft around the boat, the tug, the vessel had started to submerge even more and the prow was sticking out of the water.

“And very quickly, it went down at that point. It was a very shocking thing to witness, actually.

“The whole thing felt like it happened really quickly from us realizing that this was an emergency situation to the vessel disappearing under the waves.

“I think it was a member of the Coast Guard was actually knocking on the hull of the tug and shouting, you know, calling out to see if anyone was there, anyone could hear them, if there was any response.

“At that point we discovered, or we saw a life ring in the water.

“And then at the point we understood the terrible gravity of the situation that we were seeing.”

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