Challenging rescue for lifeboat crews

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Whitby’s RNLI crew members had one of their most challenging rescues for some time as they brought a stricken fishing boat back into the harbour in rough weather.

The weather and tide conditions were so bad last Friday afternoon that the lifeboat coxswain battled to get the all-weather lifeboat back through the pier ends and the 14 metre vessel that it had in tow too.

The inshore boat, OEM Stone III, was also launched to help guide the George and Mary Webb back to port during the call-out.

Station mechanic Richard Dowson said navigating back into the harbour was a close call.

He added: “Our coxswain, Mike Russell did a fantastic job of steering the boat back into the harbour.

“The conditions were difficult with poor visibility. The strong spring tide was causing the large vessel to drift substantially.

“Mike’s knowledge and experience allowed him to expertly guide the boat safely back to the fish quay.”

Both boats were back on service three and a half hours after the original call-out came at 1.30pm.

The vessel, called Ocean Spray, which had broken down after losing steering power, was also moored up in the harbour for further repairs to be carried out.