Three rescued from sinking vessel
Three crewmembers had to be rescued by a coordinated team of some of Gibraltar’s marine sections after their vessel began to sink in rough sea during heavy rain on Friday night.
The events unfolded just before midnight as Royal Gibraltar Police Marine Section officers responded to a distress call from a vessel adrift approximately one nautical mile off Europa Point.
The Gibraltar Port Authority then coordinated attendance of its launch together with RGP and Customs vessels.
According to police, the search to locate the vessel and its crew was hampered by the rough sea state and poor visibility owing to the heavy rain.
But the stricken vessel’s crew were able to discharge a signal flare which was sighted by Royal Navy personnel at Wind Mill Hill Signal Station who then directed the police vessel onto the stricken vessel which was found to be partially submerged and taking on water.
Due to the heavy swell the police vessel was unable to come alongside the swamped vessel without endangering both crews and vessels.
The three occupants of the stricken vessel swam to the police vessel and were helped onboard by the officers.
Whilst the rescued crewmembers were conveyed to land by the police crew for medical treatment, Customs vessel HM Customs Searcher which had arrived at the scene to assist with the rescue remained with the stricken vessel.
Once on land one of the men was treated for hypothermia at St Bernard’s hospital and was later discharged.
Due to the rough sea conditions the port launch was unable to recover and tow the stricken vessel back to shore, which had to be abandoned.
During the rescue one of the RGP officers was slightly injured as he was assisting one of the crewmembers onboard the RGP vessel, police added.