April 16, 2017
Stricken boat rescued by Burnham-On-Sea lifeboats and Coastguards

Burnham-On-Sea's Coastguards and a lifeboat crew were called out on Saturday evening (April 15th) to help a stricken boat taking on water.

The 14 metre landing craft was escorted to Burnham-On-Sea Yacht Club by Burnham RNLI after getting into difficulty in the Bristol Channel near Hinkley Point power station.

The craft, called Patriot, is used by sub-contractors working at Hinkley and had suffered bow door failure en-route into Watchet harbour when it had started taking on water.

Minehead and the Barry Dock off-shore lifeboat were initially tasked to assist but after pumping out water and steadying the situation, they were unable to get the vessel into Watchet.

It was decided to bring the landing craft, under its own power, to the safety of Burnham Sailing Club in the River Brue. The crew of Burnham RNLI's lifeboat Staines Whitfield led the way whilst the Barry Dock lifeboat followed.

Once safely in the Brue the decision was taken to beach the vessel near the sailing club with the help of the lifeboat, shore crew with ropes and the station's launch tractor.

Burnham-On-Sea helmsman Nick Edrich told "The landing craft crew were extremely relieved to receive lifeboat assistance, as sea was choppy and they had been taking on a lot of water. It was a long shout, but we were glad to help."

The vessel - a landing craft with a drop-front - had experienced difficulties when its ramp had dropped mid-journey, leading to water engulfing the craft.

The crew onboard had struggled to lift the ramp back up and tie it in place, however a member of the crew had then begun to experience signs of hypothermia due to the cold northerly winds out on the water.

The helicopter winched several water pumps onboard the vessel to help it stay afloat and a hypothermic crew member was lifted to safety.

"This was a great job by all the teams, with maximum effort put in over a long period - it was a great example of what everyone trains for," said a Coastguard spokesman.

The boat arriving in Burnham alongside the lifeboats

The stricken boat was beached near the Sailing Club pontoons

Ropes were used to secure the vessel on the beach

The boat was refloated on Easter Sunday morning on the high tide (photos from / Mike Lang / Reg Hearing)


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