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Cruise ship spots flare and rescues fishermen

Calder lifeboat

A cruise ship turned around after spotting a distress flare and plucked three fishermen from the North Sea, saving their lives.

After their boat sank around 25 miles off Great Yarmouth, the fishermen drifted in a life raft for four hours before being rescued by the Pacific Princess. Sadly, two of their colleagues perished.

RNLI lifeboats from Gorleston-on-Sea and the Caister-on-Sea Volunteer Lifeboat Service’s independent lifeboat in Norfolk joined the U.K. Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Humberside.

The passenger ship was heading back to Dover after an eight-day cruise around the British Isles, when it saw the flare and changed course to rescue the men.

Caister Lifeboat said in a statement on Facebook, “After six hours searching at sea last night for the two missing fisherman. We returned to station at 2.15am. At first light 6am we were recalled by HM coastguards to resume the search with Lowestoft lifeboat and two coastguard helicopters. We relaunched and continued the search. 

“After seven hours relentless searching, rescue helicopter 192 located two bodies, recovered them both from the sea, and we were then stood down by HM coastguards. A very sad outcome and our condolences and thoughts are with all the family and friends of the crewmen.”

Caister Lifeboat Chairman, Paul Garrod, explains, "There were supply boats around and it's not too far from the nearest gas field, so they brought some of the boats from there as well and we all searched until the early hours of the morning.

"There were 20-odd ships in the vicinity so it was a very detailed search, but all they found was some wreckage. They must have gone down very quickly as no mayday call was received.”

The image is a grab from a video on the Caister Lifeboat Facebook page.

Aug 28, 2018