The volunteer crew of Blyth’s RNLI inshore lifeboat were requested to launch by Humber Coastguard shortly after 7:30am Sunday June 16 2013 to go to the assistance of a 17ft fishing boat experiencing propeller problems with one person onboard. The boat Sapphi Anne was being blown out to sea by an off-shore wind and the sole person on-board had called the coastguard for assistance on a mobile phone.
The lifeboat crew were able to establish contact with the Sapphi Anne via VHF radio which enabled them to quickly locate boat and after checking the person onboard had come to no harm a tow was rigged and the lifeboat proceeded back to Seaton Sluice harbour.
After the Sapphi Anne was safely moored up on its berth in Seaton Sluice harbour the lifeboat then returned to station, was re-fuelled, and ready for the next service call by 9:00am.
This was the first shout for the volunteer crew after recently moving into the charity’s new £700,000 lifeboat station at Blyth. A date for the official station opening ceremony is to be announced shortly with a date of Saturday 7th September having already been set for the stations quayside family fun day.
Blyth RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) John Scott said ‘the fact that the person on the Sapphi Anne had a VHF radio and knew how to use it allowed the lifeboat crew to locate him much quicker than they could if he was using only a mobile phone‘
Mr Scott also commented ‘It was good to see our new lifeboat station being used for the first time by the crew to carry out a rescue’