NEWCASTLE RNLI answered its third distress call in less than a fortnight on Sunday when the crew went to the aid of a fishing boat in trouble.
The local RNLI station’s all-weather lifeboat, Eleanor and Bryant Girling, joined Kilkeel’s inshore lifeboat to assist the 10-metre scallop dredger, Solstice, which was left drifting without power five miles off the Kilkeel coast after mechanical problems developed.
Newcastle’s volunteer crew of coxswain Mark Poland, Richard Burgess, Aidan Reilly, Shane Rice, Dylan Mooney and Daniel Rooney set off in darkness shortly before 9pm and arrived on the scene around 10pm.
The Solstice was taken in tow by the Kilkeel inshore lifeboat and brought to safety in Kilkeel harbour. None of the three-man crew was injured.
Sunday night’s callout was the third launch in a busy fortnight for Newcastle’s RNLI crew. Previously the station’s all-weather boat had assisted a fishing boat which developed engine trouble while travelling from Carlingford to the Isle of Man and the inshore lifeboat, Aldergrove II, took part in a search for a missing jet ski adrift in Dundrum Bay.