Major night sea rescue launched after fishing trawler capsizes off the Yorkshire coast

Three fishermen have been saved after their trawler overturned in seconds.

The fishing trawler which capsized

The crew were fishing off Flamborough Head when their vessel, named J Sea, began listing to one side at around 8pm on Saturday night. It capsized before they were able to radio for help.

The climbed onto the upturned hull, which was also sinking, and managed to locate the life raft, which contained distress flares which they were able to set off. The boat also automatically released and emergency locator beacon when it sank.

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The Coastguard issued a Mayday call to all vessels in the area and a trawler which joined the search managed to locate the crew's raft and take them on board. The Coastguard helicopter arrived from Humberside Airport soon after and a medic was winched down to check the fishermen, who were not hurt.

RNLI volunteers who took part in the rescue in the early hours of Sunday morning

The rescued crew were transferred to another fishing boat to take them to Whitby in the early hours of the morning, and were then passed to the Whitby RNLI lifeboat which had been called out. The Scarborough RNLI craft was stood down while heading to the scene.

The Coastguard reminded sailors that the rescue had only been possible because the trawler was correctly equipped with a life raft, emergency locator beacon and distress flares.

Humber Coastguard said in a statement: “The correct equipment can save your life. You might think we go on about it a bit, but we do it for good reason. And we think there are probably at least three people this morning who are thinking the same thing.

“This rescue goes to show that having the correct equipment really can save your life. The EPIRB activation showed us exactly where the fishing vessel in trouble was.

The trawler which rescued the crew from their life raft

“The crew also had flares, setting them off to further help the rescue response. You never know what will happen at sea. Even the most experienced people can be caught out by it. Be prepared. Have the right kit and know what to do”.

Scarborough RNLI lifeboat operations manager Andy Volans added: “Despite the strange current situation, the core RNLI service is still able to respond when called. Respect the Water”.