Fishermen rescued from sinking boat after capsizing in strong winds

The rescuers arrived to find two crew members on a life-raft and two others on the boat.

Four people have been rescued after their fishing vessel sank off of Scotland’s west coast.

RNLI’s Oban lifeboat was tasked by Stornoway coastguard after a 17-metre fishing boat began taking on water south of the Garvellachs on Wednesday afternoon at around 1pm.

When the lifeboat arrived, they discovered two members of the crew on a life-raft while two others had remained on board in a bid to stem the flow of water coming in.

The Prestwick-based Coastguard helicopter Rescue 199 and a local workboat were standing by, however, strong winds and a heavy sea made it impossible to transfer across members of the lifeboat crew to the fishing boat with a salvage pump.

The lifeboat reaches the fishing boat soon after it had begun to list heavilyRNLI Oban

The people on the life raft were brought aboard the lifeboat and, as the skipper of the fishing boat believed that they had stopped the water coming in, it was decided to tow the vessel to Oban for repairs.

However, while the vessel was being towed by the lifeboat and was about two miles south west of Easdale island, it began taking in water again and listed heavily.

It sank in a matter of minutes, forcing the two remaining people on the fishing vessel into the water and they swam to the lifeboat and were pulled to safety by its crew.

Four people have been rescued after their fishing vessel sank off of Scotland’s west coast.RNLI Oban

Oban lifeboat Coxswain Ally Cerexhe said that both high winds and a significant swell made the operation difficult.

He said: “What had been a slow tow suddenly changed and the fishing vessel listed heavily and then sank very quickly, forcing the two members to abandon the boat and swim across to us.

“I’d like to thank my Coastguard colleagues and the crew of the Celtic Guardian who assisted during the operation.”

The lifeboat returned to Oban where the four people from the fishing vessel were passed into the care of the Scottish Ambulance Service and Coastguard team members.

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