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October 30 2011.

Newhaven's RNLB David and Elizabeth Acland Severn Class Lifeboat was launched at at 05:16 on Saturday to attend a Newhaven trawler which had experienced a serious engine room fire 21 miles south west of Newhaven.

The vessel had contacted coastguards to say that there had been an engine room fire and that the vessel was fixed to the sea bed by her scallop nets. The casualty's position was to the west of the main western shipping lane, where a lot of large commercial ships travel through.

The lifeboat was launched in under eight minutes and proceeded towards the casualty at full speed. Once on scene the lifeboat broadcast warnings to all shipping in the area regarding the casualty's position. By this time it was confirmed that the fire was out and the trawlers crew had accessed the engine room, but the trawler was unable to recover her nets. A crew member from the Newhaven lifeboat was transferred to the casualty to help assess the extent of the problem. One of the three trawler crew had suffered slight burns to his hands.

Another trawler offered to recover the nets, she arrived on scene about 50 minutes after the lifeboat. The cause of the fire was established and a temporary safe fix was put in place to enable the trawler to briefly start her engine to recover her nets. Once recovered the engine was shut down. A tow was then established and the vessel was safely returned to her berth into the hands of the local fire brigade and coastguards at approximately 11:30am

In an earlier incident on Friday, coastguards launched the RNLB David and Elizabeth Acland at approximately 17:00 to an angling vessel which had experienced engine failure just south of Seaford Head. The vessel had contacted coastguards and then went to anchor. The two occupants were found to be fit and well. The anchor was raised and a tow line was established back to Newhaven.

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