Fishermen’s rescue mission a ‘miracle’

Three rescuers (from left) - Kenneth Hargreaves, Frans Schaap and Darren Moore on board catamaran Pisces.
Three rescuers (from left) - Kenneth Hargreaves, Frans Schaap and Darren Moore on board catamaran Pisces.

Three Fleetwood fishermen helped save the lives of two anglers in a rescue mission described as “a miracle”.

The anglers were off Rossall Point in rough conditions on Sunday afternoon when their vessel rapidly sank - and the men had no life jackets on,

But by an incredible piece of luck, the catamaran Pisces just happened to be fishing close by.

Normally there would have only been two men on board Pisces and the vessel would have been further along the coast, but on this one occasion it was different - and it saved the anglers’ lives.

In dangerous conditions, catamaran owner Frans Schaap, 47, skipper Darren Moore, 46 and third man Kenny Hargreaves, 47, managed to throw two life rings into the water and use ropes to pull the men around to the starboard side of Pisces, where there was luckily a door through which to haul the two men up to safety.

Frans said: “It was a miracle - if there had been just the two of, we would never have managed it, and if we had been where we intended to be fishing, we’d never have seen them. We were meant to rescue them.”

Onboard, the fishermen gave the two men chocolate bars for energy and wrapped them up in warm blankets.

National Coastwatch volunteers at Rossall Point confirmed their position and the Fleetwood lifeboats rushed to the scene, where the men were transferred to the in-shore lifeboat and quickly returned to port.

They were met by Paramedics, because of concern for hypothermia and secondary drowning and taken to Victoria Hospital, Blackpool.

Fleetwood RNLI Coxswain, Tony Cowell said; “They were incredibly fortunate that Pisces was there.”