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Lowestoft Lifeboat completes six-hour tow to assist wind farm vessel

PUBLISHED: 10:02 13 November 2015 | UPDATED: 10:02 13 November 2015

Lowestoft Lifeboat was called to assist the Challenger vessel which had got into difficulty.

Lowestoft Lifeboat was called to assist the Challenger vessel which had got into difficulty.

Archant

A wind farm support vessel, which was making its way to Northumberland, had to be towed into Lowestoft after suffering "mechanical failure."

Lowestoft lifeboat Patsy Knight was called out. Picture: MICK HOWES/RNLILowestoft lifeboat Patsy Knight was called out. Picture: MICK HOWES/RNLI

The Lowestoft RNLI lifeboat Patsy Knight was launched about 6.30pm on Wednesday to go to the aid of the stranded vessel, which had broken down 31 miles due east of Lowestoft.

The 22-metre support vessel, called Challenger, is understood to have been on route from Rotterdam in Holland to Blyth in Northumberland when it got into trouble.

It took about an hour for the 13-metre Shannon class lifeboat to reach the stranded vessel, which had two people on board and had suffered “complete mechanical failure,” according to a Lowestoft Lifeboat spokesman.

After successfully connecting a tow, in the difficult conditions, the lifeboat completed a “fairly arduous” six-hour tow back into Lowestoft port in the early hours of yesterday morning (Thursday).

The difficult conditions and distance meant that the tow back into Lowestoft took about six hours, as they arrived back about 2.30am.

Casual fleet coxswain Tommy Cocking said: “When we arrived on the scene the wind farm support vessel was rolling about in the swell.”

With force six and seven winds blowing through the area, the sea conditions were described as “lumpy, with a three-metre swell.”

Given the specifications of both the Shannon-class lifeboat, and the much higher, catamaran hulled wind farm support vessel, the “difficult conditions and the distance” made it a “long haul back” for the Lowestoft lifeboat crew.

Mr Cocking said: “Everything went perfectly and it shows that even a small but powerful lifeboat like the Shannon can pull something of that size.”

■ Having had no calls since the official naming ceremony for Patsy Knight on September 20, Lowestoft lifeboat had their second call-out yesterday afternoon (Thursday). The lifeboat launched at about 2.30pm yesterday afternoon – their second call-out in the space of just 20 hours – to aid a small fishing boat named Four Daughters, which had three people on board. It was reported to have broken down nine miles east of Lowestoft and needed to be towed into port. The lifeboat spokesman said that the ten-metre long fishing boat had suffered engine failure and it was successfully towed back into Lowestoft, arriving back at 4.30pm.

■ Have you got a Lowestoft story? Email mark.boggis@archant.co.uk

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