Lifeboat volunteer rescues father off coast of Fife

By Angie Brown
BBC Scotland, Edinburgh and East reporter

image copyrightAnstruther Lifeboat
image captionGeorge Hodge with his father Brian after the rescue off the Fife coast

A lifeboat volunteer had an unusual family meeting at sea after being called out to rescue his father.

George Hodge had just finished a night shift when he was paged at 06:00 on Saturday to help Anstruther Lifeboat reach a broken-down boat off the Fife coast.

When the 25-year-old reached the boat with his three-man crew, he realised it was his father Brian who needed help.

The volunteer crew towed the vessel back to shore without incident.

Mr Hodge senior, 50, a fish merchant, said: "I thought my son will not be happy, he's just in at 03:00 after a night shift. At least it gave him something to do."

image copyrightRNLI
image captionThe 25-year-old took a picture of his dad on his stricken vessel from the lifeboat as they approached

Mr Hodge junior told BBC Scotland how his dad had been out checking his lobster pots early in the morning when he got into difficulty.

He said: "When he called me I hadn't been asleep for long so I was tired and confused. He said he had fanned up, which means the rope from one of his lobster pots had wrapped around his propeller.

"I asked him if he had thrown his anchor over as it's crucial that he remained at the same spot so he wouldn't be blown onto nearby rocks. He said he had, so I told him to call 999 and ask for a lifeboat. I could hear he was a bit panicked.

"Then I jumped up and rushed to the lifeboat. I was worried it can be quite a serious thing and hoped things wouldn't deteriorate, as they so quickly can out at sea, before we could get to him.

"When we reached him we found he had held position and so we were able to set up a tow and get him to shore, thankfully, after cutting the lobster creel from the boat."

A spokesman for Anstruther Lifeboat said: "As much as George and his fellow crew members enjoyed helping Brian safely back to Anstruther, the serious nature of what the RNLI do cannot be forgotten.

"If you are in difficulty, please contact the coastguard, just like Brian did and request assistance from the assets we have available.

"Unlike Brian, you will not lose family bragging rights and have additional chores as payback for our help."

image copyrightRNLI
image captionGeorge Hodge with fellow RNLI volunteers

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