Skipper praised by passengers after rescue drama off the coast of Great Yarmouth
- Credit: James Bass
Less than a week after a fishing boat almost sank, its skipper has spoken of his relief at once again being able to set sail.
Paul Dyble, 68, took Sea Quest out to sea once more this week, despite it coming within moments of sinking on Sunday.
“It’s great to be back afloat,” he said, upon setting sail after almost losing the vessel he has owned for more than 30 years.
“I really thought she was going down.”
The skipper was a nautical mile out to sea with six passengers, when he noticed his versatility boat, Sea Quest, was filling with water. However, he remained calm in the face of danger, drawing on his 54 years of boating experience to avoid disaster.
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Mr Dyble had been escorting the passengers on a fishing trip, when the boat’s alarm system notified him of a leak in one of its valves. On checking the vessel’s engine box, he saw that it too had filled with water.
However, Mr Dyble remained composed, sending radio signals to the Coastguard and preparing his passengers with life jackets.
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He said: “This was the first time I had experienced something like this on my own vessel, but I didn’t worry.
“My passengers all stayed very calm too - there was no panic. I simply told them that they needed to put their life jackets on and that they would have to get off when a lifeboat arrived.”
The six people then boarded the daughter boat of offshore standby vessel the Putford Puffin, leaving Mr Dyble fearing for his boat - but not his life.
“I honestly thought that was it for her,” said Mr Dyble. “I wasn’t worried about myself, I knew what to do and have an inflatable lifeboat if the worst came to the worst.
“I have seen boats roll before, and others in horrendous conditions, and I honestly thought I would lose her.”
However, the Gorleston RNLI team arrived with a pump, assisting Mr Dyble in securing the vessel. The lifeboat then took all seven people onboard and towed Sea Quest back to Yarmouth harbour.
Mr Dyble added: “They did an absolutely first class job getting everybody safely back to sure, and helping me out as well.
“Since Sunday, I’ve received lots of messages congratulating me on staying calm and giving me some very complimentary words - it has really meant a lot.”
After two days of repair work, a new valve and fresh skin fittings, Sea Quest is now back in ship shape.