Three crew airlifted to hospital after boat 'explosion' off the Norfolk coast

Cromer lifeboat returning to base after the North Sea rescue operation Credit: ITV News Anglia

Seven crew members have been rescued after an apparent explosion on board a boat off the coast of Norfolk.

The crew members made the decision to abandon ship after reporting difficulties at 11.20am on Tuesday while 25 miles north of Cromer.

HM Coastguard launched a rescue operation after learning the vessel was taking on water.

Cromer RNLI all-weather lifeboat and HM Coastguard’s search and rescue helicopter from Humberside were sent to the scene. Offshore supply vessels and wind farm vessels have also been assisting with the operation.

Three of the most seriously-injured casualties were airlifted to hospital in Hull and Cromer lifeboat has collected the four remaining crew.

The stricken vessel is thought to be a crabbing boat. The crew had abandoned ship and some or all had made it to a life raft.

One of the crew members is taken to hospital following the boat explosion in the North Sea

A spokesperson for the Marine Accident Investigation Branch said: “The MAIB is aware of the reported explosion and abandonment of the crabbing vessel Galwad-y-Mor on Tuesday 15th December, north-east of Cromer, Norfolk.

"A preliminary assessment has commenced, and inspectors from the MAIB will be attending the vessel in Grimsby to gather evidence and understand more about the circumstances of this incident.

"A decision on whether an investigation will be launched will be taken once the preliminary assessment has been completed.”

Credit: ITV News Anglia

The rescue was co-ordinated by Humber Coastguard and assisted by Dudgeon Wind Farm operations vessel Esvagt Njord.