Volunteers from Anstruther RNLI dashed to the aid of a fisherman when his boat ran aground after taking on water and encountering serious mechanical failure off the coast of Pittenweem.
The crew were paged shortly before 3.00pm yesterday (Thursday 10 September) when the fisherman raised the alarm on his VHF radio to alert the UK Coastguard. Nearby fishing vessels rushed to the area and stood by while lifeboats scrambled to the scene.
Arriving first, the RNLI inshore lifeboat crew began to help manually pump the water out of the stricken vessel. Following closely behind was Anstruther’s all-weather lifeboat which transferred a salvage pump across to the vessel via the inshore lifeboat and began working to get rid of the excess water onboard.
The Helm of the inshore lifeboat carefully pulled the fishing vessel to safety, navigating through the rocks on its way towards open waters and the safety of St Monans harbour.
Commenting after a busy afternoon, Coxswain Michael Bruce praised the decision making of the fisherman when faced with unforeseen and unavoidable mechanical failure. Michael said: ‘A mayday is the highest level of distress call available and using this ultimately saved the vessel from sinking. When the mechanical issues arose, the alternative was to risk deep open waters and attempt a landing into Pittenweem. If the fisherman had chosen this option, we could be looking at a very different outcome. He did the right thing to call for help.’
The quick response of neighbouring vessels when the mayday call was issued was a very welcome one to both the RNLI and the fisherman.