A lifesaving lifeboat crew on the Isle of Man were called out twice in a matter of days to help two vessels, both bound for Northern Ireland.

The Peel branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) first sprang into action on the evening of Thursday (June 6) when a 9-metre river cruiser ran into engine difficulties off the coast.

The vessel and its passengers had left Peel earlier in the afternoon bound for Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland.

During the emergency, the cruiser’s skipper was unable to pinpoint the exact location of the stricken vessel.

However, thanks to information from a passing yacht, rescuers aboard Peel’s Shannon class lifeboat, Frank and Brenda Winter, were able to make contact and located the vessel roughly 14 miles west of Peel.  

Peel’s RNLI volunteers were preparing for a training exercise when they initially received the call out.

The vessel had found itself ‘dangerously adrift' in a shipping lane before the Peel RNLI managed to tow the cruiser to safety. The crew then handed it over to an RNLI lifeboat from Newcastle, County Down, which assisted in the rescue and continued towing the cruiser to Strangford Lough.

By 10pm, Peel lifeboat was back at base and ready for service again.

Peel RNLI volunteers sprang into action once again on Saturday, this time just after 3pm following a request from HM Coastguard to assist a vessel disabled by engine failure.

The vessel ran into difficulty around seven nautical miles west of Peel.

The seven-metre motorboat, which had two individuals on board, was heading towards Killyleagh, Northern Ireland.

Peel’s Shannon class lifeboat, Frank and Brenda Winter, reached the distressed vessel within 20 minutes of launching.

Discussing the rescue operation, Peel’s volunteer coxswain, Jon Corlett, said: ‘Once on scene we checked the well-being of those aboard, considered their situation and the sea conditions at the time and determined the most efficient and safest way of assisting them was to tow the vessel to Peel where necessary repairs could be made.     

‘Towing can be dangerous to casualties and crew if carried out incorrectly, so it is important that our crew members develop and maintain their knowledge and skills.

‘Today, our volunteers performed faultlessly.’ 

By 7pm, the lifeboat was back at base and ready for service once again.

Stuart Blackley, Peel Lifeboat’s Chairman and Launch Authority, said: ‘Providing vital training that keeps our crew members from harm and allows them to save lives is only possible through the generosity of the RNLI’s many supporters. 

‘The enthusiastic work of Peel Lifeboat’s fundraising volunteers ensures we can provide not only training, but also equipment, protective kit and even fuel for the lifeboat. 

‘We are grateful to everyone who supports our charity’s work. Together we are all lifesavers.’