Three fishermen rescued after boat capsized off Whitby coast

Credit: RNLI/Richard Dowson

Three fishermen were lucky to escape with their lives when their boat capsized off the Whitby coast at the weekend.

They first noticed an issue on Saturday night at around 8pm when part of the boat began to lean to one side. Before they had time to radio for help they had capsized and were in the water. Within minutes all that was visible of the vessel was the hull which they climbed aboard.

The men clung to the boat for more than two and a half hours before they could trigger their emergency life raft and send a distress signal.

The Coastguard launched a rescue helicopter and paged Whitby RNLI who deployed the all-weather lifeboat at around 11pm. A nearby vessel carried out an initial rescue and Whitby lifeboat crew took them safely to shore at around 7am yesterday morning.

When you get a call to an EPIRB who don't know what to expect, you know it is a serious emergency. These three men had a very lucky escape and we send our thanks to the fishing vessel that answered the Mayday call and retrieved them from the life raft. The men showed great bravery managing to get out of the water and onto the hull of the boat, not knowing when help would arrive. Luckily the life raft had the beacon fitted which alerted the emergency services with an exact location, or the outcome would have been very different.

Richard Dowson, Station Mechanic at Whitby RNLI