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Major rescue launched to save French trawler

Major rescue launched to save French trawler

Wednesday 28 December 2022

Major rescue launched to save French trawler

Wednesday 28 December 2022

Lifeboats from Jersey, Guernsey and France all took part in a major operation last night to rescue a French fishing boat which was sinking off Bouley Bay.

The rescue also involved the Freja, which is currently leading the search for the Skipper of the L'Ecume II, a fishing trawler which sank off St. Ouen's Bay on the 10 December.

Shortly after 21:00, Jersey Coastguard received a call from their French counterparts, to say that the 20m fishing vessel 'Coelacanthe’ was taking on water following damage to the propeller shaft, and the crew were unable to stop it.

The Freja then left her station in St Ouen's Bay and was first on the scene, alongside the RNLI's all-weather lifeboat, and a lifeboat from Guernsey.

A French helicopter had already dropped a diver, and a salvage pump, to help the Coelacanthe’s crew, but they also needed the RNLI's pump as well to manage the water flow.

Using the two pumps, the Coelacanthe's crew were able to get control of the water coming on board, but without power and steering, they needed the larger Guernsey lifeboat to set up a tow, which was then taken over by the tug Handfast, due to the Coelacanthe’s size. 

Once it had been towed back into the shelter of Bouley Bay, a French lifeboat then picked up the tow, to take the Coelacanthe back to its home port of Granville.

The Jersey lifeboat and the Freja stood down at around 02:00.

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