Royal Navy ships respond to mayday call off Isle of Man

A Royal Navy frigate and an offshore patrol vessel responded to a mayday call issued in the morning hours of September 21 from a sinking small boat off the Isle of Man.

HMS Somerset scrambled her helicopter while HMS Severn rushed to the scene as it was just 20 miles away when it received the call.

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

Severn was on fishery protection duties and HMS Somerset was conducting training in the Irish Sea.

The rescue operation involved two war ships, three helicopters and a fishing vessel.

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