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Somerset and Severn respond to Isle of Man mayday

21 September 2016
HMS Somerset scrambled her helicopter and HMS Severn rushed to the scene when they picked up a mayday call from a sinking small boat off the Isle of Man.

The Spinaway Isla, with three adults and one child aboard, flashed an SOS in the small hours when she lost power and began to take on water about a dozen miles west of the Isle of Man.

Severn was just 20 miles away on fishery protection duties and rushed to the scene, while frigate HMS Somerset, conducting training in the Irish Sea, launched her Merlin helicopter.

A fishing boat, Coastguard helicopter and the Peel lifeboat were also dispatched to the scene in a rescue effort coordinated by Belfast Coastguard.

I was very impressed by my ship’s company’s ability to take the initiative at any time, day our night, and be ready to provide assistance in short order.

Lt Cdr James Reynolds RN

The lifeboat was first to reach the Spinaway Isla, five minutes ahead of Severn, and put crewmen across with a pump to help stabilise the stricken vessel.

Severn remained on the scene until the RNLI crew were satisfied the boat was safe, and then escorted it into Peel harbour.

“I was very impressed by my ship’s company’s ability to take the initiative at any time, day our night, and be ready to provide assistance in short order,” said Lt Cdr James Reynolds, Severn’s Commanding Officer.

“What is equally impressive and heartening is the number of fellow mariners who attended the scene to help.

“I’m pleased no one was seriously injured and Severn is now back on patrol in UK waters.”

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