All hands on deck for trawler tow

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ROUGH seas and two trawlers needing a tow into Whitby harbour proved a tricky job for the town’s lifeboats.

Both Whitby’s lifeboats and the pilot boat, which was once a former lifeboat, were all called to assist in getting two trawlers, one of which was from the Orkney Islands, safely into the harbour on Friday afternoon.

The Noronya had broken down and was being towed by The Keila which was on passage from Stromness attracting plenty of attention from onlookers.

The harbour master had contacted the lifeboat crew with concerns about the weather conditions.

Scarborough Borough Council’s bridge operators were also put on stand-by for opening the swing bridge to let the procession of boats through.

All weather lifeboat the George and Mary Webb and the inshore vessel were launched just after 12.30pm.

The George and Mary Webb guided both boats back to the harbour with the inshore specifically guiding the disabled Noronya and the pilot boat, the St Hilda of Whitby, connecting a line to steady the tow.

The Keila towed the Noronya to Parkol Marine for repairs.

Lifeboat mechanic Glen Goodberry said they rescue was hampered by the fact the towing trawler had a depth below the water of 4.7 metres and that was the height of the tide that day.

He said: “It was such a big boat, the initial concern was the depth of the water.

“There was only 4.7 metres of tide so it was very dodgy just getting him in.

“It all worked out alright. We kept telling the tow boat to come more to the west and put more power on.

“It is that last few metres where the tide flows across the pier ends and it was taking him on to the rocks.

“The pilot boat had to pull him over, if they had not done it, it would have had the lifeboat on but the pilot boat is an ex-lifeboat and has a lot of power and manoeuvrability and did a good job.”