Exmouth lifeboat in Torbay tug rescue drama - VIDEO

10:21 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.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 09:16
Brian and his mum Jean

‘Scumbag’ burglars have ransacked the home of a cancer victim just two days after he died, stealing valuables left to the charity who cared for him in his final days.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:12
logo

A Marks & Spencer food hall is coming to Exmouth - and retail bosses want to build it on the ageing bus depot.

Read more
Sunday, March 1, 2015

Supermarket giant Tesco’s plans for Budleigh have been opposed by town planners.

Read more
Friday, February 27, 2015

Work on the long-awaited cycle track across The Green in Budleigh Salterton is finally set to get under way later this year.

Read more
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Kirk Westaway, who has reached the international grand final of the San Pellegrino Young Chef competition.

An Exmouth chef, who now plies his trade in Singapore, is to take on the world’s best in a prestigious competition.

Read more
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Labour candidate Steve Race

Charity campaigner and former Red Cross worker Steve Race has been picked by Labour to contest the East Devon seat in May’s General Election.

Read more

Local Weather

Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition



Exmouth's trusted business finder