Portrush All-weather lifeboat was requested to launch by the Coastguard Sunday afternoon at 3.40 pm to reports of a 24 ft angling boat in difficulty at the entrance to the Foyle estuary.
Weather conditions at the time were near galeforce with winds gusting from the west which made the rescue challenging. On arriving at the scene the volunteer lifeboat crew established a tow line with the fishing vessel at 4.27pm approx. and proceeded at a slow speed back to Portrush Harbour.
The All-Weather lifeboat returned to the harbour with the vessel in tow at 5.30pm. In extremely challenging weather conditions the lifeboat temporarily went aground while assisting the casualty vessel to reach the pontoon.
As a safety precaution the All-Weather Lifeboat has now been placed off service to allow a full inspection take place in the morning. Portrush RNLI’s inshore lifeboat remains on service.
The volunteer lifeboat crew wish to acknowledge the help given by local fisherman Richard Connor and the local Coastguard Team in assisting the lifeboat to get onto the pontoon. Both the lifeboat crew and the crew of the fishing vessel were unharmed. However, we understand that a member of the coastguard sustained a hand injury in helping on scene and we wish to send him our best wishes for a full recovery.