Two fishermen were lucky to escape with their lives after their boat “sank in seconds” – without them wearing the life jackets they had with them.
The pair were rescued from the Irish Sea near to Rossall Point on Sunday afternoon and, had they not been seen by passing fishing boat Pisces, they could have died, Coastguard officer Mark Sumner said this morning.
He said: “We could have had two bodies washing up.”
Their 14-feet-long fishing boat, from Knott End, got into difficulty after its anchor rope wrapped around its outboard. That caused the boat to turn and become overwhelmed by waves.
“The vessel sank in seconds, giving the crew no time to don life jackets or call mayday,” a Coastguard spokesman said.
“It was only due to the great observational and communications skills of the crew of Pisces and NCI Rossall Point volunteers that the outcome did not turn out so differently with a loss of life, especially as both fishermen, although they had life jackets, did not wear them.”
Mr Sumner added: “The main message is, ‘Don’t just carry lifejackets, but wear them.’”
The men were taken back to shore on an RNLI lifeboat, given some dry clothes, and watched for signs of secondary drowning.
They were then taken by paramedics to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.