Rescuer Left In Sea As Trawler Sinks|Seabed Abysmal

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April 25, 2012

Rescuer Left In Sea As Trawler Sinks



A lifeboat crewman was left treading water after a daring rescue saved two fishermen just seconds before their trawler sank.

The lifeboat Norma T, based in Portsmouth, Hampshire, was returning from routine training when it heard a mayday call from a 36-foot fishing trawler reporting that it was taking on water two miles south of Langstone Harbour.

When the rescue boat reached the trawler, which had used a flare to confirm its position, the crew found the vessel was already resting on the waterline and that only the boat's forward motion was keeping it afloat.

RNLI helmsman Pete Slidel boarded the fishing boat to check how much water it had taken on and to prepare the two trawlermen to abandon ship.

After the first fisherman was transferred to the safety of the lifeboat, the trawler's engine failed, leaving the vessel adrift and unstable in the 10ft swell.

The lifeboat was able to retrieve the second fisherman but was pushed away again by the swell before Mr Slidel could jump clear.The fishing boat then sank beneath the waves, leaving the volunteer crewman swimming behind it.

Mr Slidel said: "After the engine cut out, it was only about four or five seconds before the boat started to go. As the bow went up on the next wave, the stern just went under and it began to capsize."

He was picked up by the Gosport rescue boat before the RNLI lifeboat rushed the two fishermen back to the boathouse, where they were able to recover from their ordeal.

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