Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Friday, 1 January 2010

Fishing trawler fire off Scilly Isles sparks sea rescue

The stricken trawler Trevessa is being towed back into Newlyn

Four fishermen have been winched to safety after their boat caught fire off the Isles of Scilly.

Falmouth Coastguard coordinated the rescue after the Newlyn-registered beam trawler Trevessa issued a mayday alert just after 1637 GMT.

An RNAS Culdrose helicopter, the Isles of Scilly lifeboat and two fishing boats were involved in the rescue.

The men, who are suffering from smoke inhalation, were flown to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

The trawler is being towed back into Newlyn by another trawler on Friday.

Rough swell

A Maritime and Coastguard spokesman told BBC News it is not believed the trawler crewmen were seriously injured.

The trawler was about 30 miles (42km) south of the Scilly Isles when the fire broke out in the engine room.

Ian Mackay, from RNAS Culdrose, said the operation to winch the men off the trawler was made more difficult by a moderate to rough swell and force five to six winds.

Mr Mackay said the helicopter was en route to the Royal Cornwall Hospital with a man in his 50s who had suffered a cardiac arrest in Porthtowan when the trawler rescue call came in.

The crew took the patient to hospital, before refuelling and flying to the rescue of the trawlermen.

Earlier this month, the Teignmouth-based crabber Etoile Des Ondes sank in the English Channel after a collision with an unidentified vessel.

Three of the crew were rescued but 21-year-old Chris Wadsworth was lost.

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