The Royal Navy has rescued six people from a stricken cargo vessel after responding to a Mayday call on Sunday morning.
Patrol vessel HMS Tyne, which had been operating nearby, and a Sea King rescue helicopter from Royal Naval Air Squadron Culdrose sped to the aid of the MV Sea Breeze which had started to sink 10 miles off the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall.
Five crew members were winched off the vessel by the helicopter from 771 Squadron and were taken ashore by two boats from the RNLI. The Master of the MV Sea Breeze was taken to HMS Tyne to assist with the salvage operation.
Attempts were also made to try and pump water out of the ship by both 771 and HMS Tyne, but efforts were hampered by the speed of the incoming water. The flooding is believed to have begun following a mechanical defect.
The Executive Officer of HMS Tyne, Lieutenant John-Paul Fitzgibbon said: “We were involved in marine enforcement operations 30 miles away. We received the call and we headed towards the stricken vessel.
“My job was to be the eyes and ears of the coastguard on the scene and to check any stability changes to the ship.
“The ability to quickly re-role from marine enforcement operations to life-saving and marine pollution prevention is indicative of the flexibility of modern naval ships and those who run them.
“My crew are highly trained to respond to such calls for assistance and I am thankful that we were in a position to do so.”
The MV Sea Breeze has now been towed into St Austell Bay where divers will be sent in to assess the damage.
Press Release, March 10, 2014, 2014; Image: Royal Navy