Exmouth lifeboat in Torbay tug rescue drama - VIDEO

PUBLISHED: 10:21 14 January 2013 | UPDATED: 16:06 14 January 2013

Archant

Exmouth’s lifeboat crew was called out overnight to a stricken tug boat after it was holed by the ship it was towing.

The incident happened off the coast of Torbay yesterday evening, at around 9.30pm, when the 70 metre tug boat Christos XXII was hit by the ship, named as the Emsstrom, a former German naval training ship.

Exmouth RNLI received the call, and the all-weather lifeboat dispatched to the scene along with the Torbay lifeboat.

On arrival at the incident, just off Hopes Nose, pumps from both lifeboats were put aboard, along with two crew members from the Torbay lifeboat.

Six of the 8 crew of the Christos, were taken off by the Torbay lifeboat and taken to Brixham. The Exmouth lifeboat stood by to monitor the situation.

John Heal, the Torbay Emergency Coxswain, went into the engine room to investigate the damage but, even with two pumps running, the Christos was still making water and in danger of sinking.

Additional pumps were transferred by the nearby warship Lancaster, but still the water level was rising.

Crew from Lancaster were then able to plug the leak by effecting a temporary repair using wooden wedges, reducing the ingress of water by some 60 per cent.

Meanwhile the towed boat Emstrom had been cast adrift and was picked up later by the local tug MTS Vulcan.

The helicopter from RNAS Chivenor was also on scene and stood by at Walls Hill, Torquay in case it was needed.

With the crew safely off and on board the lifeboat, the focus then moved to saving the ship and reducing the pollution threat, from the 200 tons of diesel oil on board.

The Dutch salvage tug Brent arrived on scene at approximately 1.30am on Monday 14 equipped with more powerful pumps and managed to start reducing the water level within the ship.

By daybreak, the Brent was confident that she could keep the Christos afloat to allow for underwater welders to apply a patch to the hull of the Christos.

The Exmouth lifeboat picked up its equipment and returned to its station just before 4am.

A Brixham Coastguard spokesman this morning said that all the water had been pumped out of the tug, and salvage personnel and divers were now in attendance to repair the Christos and assess the damage to the Emsstrom.

Update - Just before 2pm this afternoon, a Coastguard spokesman said that the Emsstrom had now sunk. approximately 2.5 nautical miles east by north from Hopes Nose, in 23 metres of water.

The ship had been listing too heavily for salvors to get onboard. As it was empty, it is not a pollution risk.

The Christos is now said to be stable, with the risk of pollution very low.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 12:30

Guest of honour Conrad Humphreys said: “I very much enjoyed the Exeter College awards evening and celebrating the success of the students.

“As a former student and rugby player at the college - I have very fond memories of my time there before heading off to sail around the world in the 1993/4 Whitbread.”

Read more
Yesterday, 12:11

Our Devon quiz is back for another round!

Read more
Yesterday, 06:55

Exmouth Town Council will be temporarily closed from January 29-30 while office equipment and phones are moved to its new home.

Read more
Thu, 17:00

Artist Anna Fitzgerald, of Seadog Gallery, in Gussiford Lane, Exmouth, is calling for a bra army of support; she needs 4,000 over-shoulder-boulder-holder donations for the display, which will celebrate the suffragette movement and women winning the right to vote.

Read more
Thu, 12:00

“We are going to find it very hard to balance our books without changing things significantly. We need teachers, but all the other things schools do – all the things that are not our statutory responsibility – we are looking at cutting. We are talking about the life chances of children being damaged,” said Exmouth’s Exeter Road head teacher Paul Gosling.

Read more
Thu, 11:04

There’s good news for Exmouth’s Famous Old Barrel pub, which has been closed since last October.

Read more
Thu, 08:45

Devon and Cornwall residents are being polled on whether they would pay another £12 a year to ‘protect frontline policing’.

Read more
Wed, 16:28

The council has teamed up with South West Ambulance and will invest £5,000 in the life saving equipment.

Read more

Chris Wright, whose family used to run Exmouth Fun Park before eviction in September last year, has critised EDDC over a planned £150,000 temporary play park on the site in Queen’s Drive.

Read more
Wed, 10:44

Aaron Mills, of Capel Lane, pleaded guilty at Exeter Magistrates Court to criminal damage at Fever and Boutiqpue Nightclub, in The Parade.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 5°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel


Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications