Watch the moment a fisherman is rescued from the sea off the Norfolk coast
PUBLISHED: 14:41 06 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:02 06 November 2018
This is the moment a Humberside helicopter came to the rescue of two fishermen adrift off the Norfolk coast after their boat sank.
A Coastguard rescuer can be seen descending from the helicopter onto the Wells lifeboat below to pick up the men.
It also shows how difficult it must have been to keep the helicopter and lifeboat aligned to winch the men to safety and carry out the rescue, despite the choppy seas.
The fishermen, whose Wells-based boat Lainey sank, were then taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for a check-up after the rescue on Monday (November 5) before being sent home later that day.
A Belgian military helicopter, which was in the area at the time, had spotted the pair in the water and dropped a life raft to them which they then clung on to. The Belgians then guided the RNLI into the exact location of the fishermen.
The Belgian helicopter crew, who had been on their way from Leuven to Newcastle to take part in a training exercise, spent the night at Norwich Airport, before travelling to Newcastle today.
The Belgian Air Force posted a comment on social media.
It said: “On November 5, the crew of a Belgian Air Force Agusta A-109 Helicopter noticed fishing vessel Lainey, sinking with two crew on-board approximately six miles north-north-west of Wells.
“The A-109 was on a training mission and discovered the unfortunate men. They quickly decided to drop a life raft into the water and then held position above the casualties to assist location until the arrival of the UK coastguard.
“Windfarm vessel Seacat Magic arrived at 2.57pm and stood by until the Wells Lifeboat arrived two minutes later.
“The Lainey having sunk, the two casualties, wearing lifejackets and holding on to life-rings, had been in the water for over 20 minutes. They were quickly recovered onto the lifeboat and given first aid.
“Rescue Helicopter 912 from Humberside arrived on scene and, at 3.06pm, winched the two casualties up from the lifeboat for transfer to hospital. Both men were later able to return home.”
The Lainey had only joined the Wells fishing fleet in March this year.
Matt West, duty controller for HM Coastguard, said: “Thankfully, despite suffering from extreme cold, both fishermen were picked up alive – we couldn’t have asked for a better result.
This incident must have happened so quickly that the casualties on the capsized vessel only just managed to put out a 999 call to the Coastguard.
Thankfully they were wearing their lifejackets and we were able to locate and rescue them very quickly, so they were only in the water for 20-30 minutes or so.”