On 3 March 2017, Lerwick lifeboat crew launched to a 24m fishing trawler Ocean Way which was taking on water off the Shetland Islands with five fishermen onboard. Norwegian fish carrier Gerda Saele was already on the scene - her crew had transferred a salvage pump but it was clear that one wasn’t going to be enough. Two lifeboat crew members were transferred to the trawler with another pump when suddenly, the trawler started sinking rapidly. With no time to transfer the fishermen and RNLI crew to the lifeboat, they were forced to jump into the water and abandon ship. While the two lifeboat crew members gathered the fishermen together in the water, the lifeboat crew hauled them into the lifeboat using the A-frame and strop before recovering their fellow lifeboat volunteers.
Over 200 people die in British and Irish waters each year – more than half of those who died didn’t even plan to go in the water. We want to halve accidental coastal deaths in the UK and Ireland by 2024.