Fishing boat’s crew rescued after grounding

The grounded vessel at Dreswick Point, Langness

The grounded vessel at Dreswick Point, Langness

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An ordinary outing turned into an emergency on Sunday when a 27 foot Laxey fishing boat, Merit 1, suffered engine failure off Langness.

The boat was being driven onto the rocks by the wind and tide, so at the last minute, the four members of crew abandoned ship and swam to a small cove.

Beforehand they managed to alert Liverpool Coastguard, who scrambled the lifeboats in Port Erin and Port St Mary and the coastguard at 10am. Fortunately on Sunday mornings both lifeboat crews are assembled for exercises, so they were quickly on scene.

Port Erin lifeboat, which was already at sea, arrived first and found Merit 1 aground. One of the fishing crew members crossed a gully, which was soon cut off by the high tide, and met the approaching coastguard.

The other three crew remained stranded and one had swallowed sea water during the swim ashore, had injured his hand and was also suffering from the effects of being wet and cold.

The inshore lifeboats from Port Erin and Port St Mary, which had by now arrived, transferred the coastguard to treat the three stranded crew members. The injured crew member was transferred to Port St Mary’s all weather boat and taken to Castletown and was transported to hospital.

David Kneen, Port St Mary lifeboat operations manager, said Merit 1 had suffered engine failure and they were being blown on to the rocks.

He added: ‘It does not take much at all for an emergency to develop.

‘Langness is one of the worst spots in the UK, if not the world, because of the tides, it’s just horrible. I was concerned about sending the little boat out, its limit is a force five or six, but the crew were so experienced they were OK, in the end they were needed.’

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