After being notified of the distress alert by RAF Kinloss at 17:25, Falmouth Coastguard asked the Spanish Coastguard in Madrid to contact the vessel. When there was no response the Spanish were then asked to send a fixed wing aircraft to the scene for reconnaissance. Falmouth also requested that the French Coastguard send its helicopter Endurance to help Navy rescue helicopter 193 from Culdrose in case the crew needed to be evacuated. RAF Rescue 169 from Chivenor provided safety cover for both helicopters.
Falmouth Coastguard broadcast a Mayday alert, requesting vessels in the area to head for the scene. They were also asked to try and contact the fishing vessel and prepare to rescue or receive casualties from life raft or helicopter. Merchant vessels Maud, Euronike, and Summer Flower responded together with two fishing vessels Galiana and Anxuela.
When the Spanish reconnaissance plane reached the scene it saw the 28 meter vessel was without power and a fire in the accommodation block was being tackled by the crew. When vessels Galiana and Summer Flower arrived on scene at just before 9pm the fire had been extinguished and the vessel had regained power. Fifteen members of the crew were uninjured, however one crew member is believed to have died.
The Rey De Olaya is now being towed to Burela, Spain by the Anxuela and Eurofin.
Falmouth Rescue Co-ordination Centre Manager James Instance said:”This fishing vessel was a long way from land and without their distress beacon they wouldnt have been able to raise the alarm. This was a true international rescue mission and I’d like to thank everyone who went to the aid of the crew”.