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French Trawler towed to safety

Alderney, Channel Islands - The French trawler Cap Lizard which ran aground on Burhou Island, the island which is famous for its breeding population of Puffins, was this afternoon towed back to France.

The 17-metre trawler that hit the island, which is located just 1 mile off the west coast of Alderney, made a mayday call at approximately 01.15am, today 8th March 2011. Shortly after, the Alderney RLNI volunteer lifeboat crew rescued five French fishermen who had taken to a life raft. The uninjured fisherman were then taken by ambulance to the Mignot Memorial Hospital for a check-up, before being transported to Cherbourg by the military helicopter Dragon 50.

At midday, on the turn of the tide, the French trawler drifted from the rocks where it had lain stricken. A tow line was quickly secured to the vessel by the locally based fishing vessel Free Spirit, who was in the adjacent area.

The 'Leopardess' Guernsey's fisheries protection vessel, with the assistance of Alderney Harbour's rigid inflatable boat placed salvage pumps onboard and successfully towed the stricken vessel clear of the Swinge and all dangers. The tow was later passed to the 'Mona Rigolet', the French lifeboat from Goury which is currently proceeding to Cherbourg. The exchange was successfully completed shortly after 3.00pm.

Steve Shaw, The Alderney Harbour Master said "the rescue by the Alderney Lifeboat of the survivors was conducted in the high standards that you would expect from an RNLI lifeboat crew. The subsequent salvage operation on the abandoned vessel was as a result of successful coordination between Alderney Harbour staff and Guernsey Sea Fisheries. We are fortunate that a potential pollution situation in a RAMSAR site which is a highly sensitive and internationally recognised Marine, Wildlife and Seabird area of importance was averted."

  • French Trawler towed to safety 2
  • French Trawler towed to safety 3