Sinking fishing boat rescued in Ilfracombe harbour
Yachting & Boating World: A plucky RNLI volunteer started bailing out a sinking boat with a bucket until help arrived. A fishing vessel was rescued in Ilfracombe harbour on Saturday evening after it began sinking.
A commercial fishing vessel skipper first noticed that Obsession was not sitting correctly on its mooring at around 8.20pm and notified RNLI volunteer Ben Bengey who was aboard his fishing charter vessel.
Mr Bengey contacted his coxswain father to let him know that he may need assistance from the lifeboat before heading out to the vessel to discover it was taking on water.
The lifeboat operations manager was made away of the problem, who then sent out a launch page to all Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer crew. While waiting for others to arrive, Mr Bengey boarded Obsession and began bailing water with buckets.
An RNLI spokesperson said: “Ben immediately boarded the boat, lifting her engine hatch and beginning to attempt to bail her out using the buckets that were to hand.
“With the incoming tide bringing more and more water into the boat, he was fighting a losing battle as he waited for the lifeboat he knew would soon be on its way.”
Once the inshore lifeboat crew arrived, volunteers began using a salvage pump in order to get rid of enough water to allow the engines to start. From here, the fishing boat was taken off its mooring and moved to a beach mooring in the inner harbour.
When crews were finished using the salvage pump, owner Ian Langham was left to assess the damage.