Councillor is part of Red Sea rescue effort

A Morpeth resident was involved in a dramatic rescue of a fishing boat crew in the Middle East.

Along with fellow members of a local dive club, Mark Horton was in a vessel on his way to a dive site off the Egyptian coast as part of their trip when they saw what looked to be water breaking over a reef out in the Red Sea.

Members of the fishing boat crew are taken aboard the diving trip boat off the Egyptian coast.

Members of the fishing boat crew are taken aboard the diving trip boat off the Egyptian coast.

But upon closer inspection, they had come across crew members of a boat that had got into trouble and they needed rescuing.

Mr Horton, a Morpeth town councillor and volunteer for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue organisation, said: “They looked in a bad way, so it was fortunate that we spotted them. It turned out some big waves had cut out their engine and radio.

“There were five men on the wreck and there were 16 divers in total on our boat, including other groups, so we were able to help the local crew in bringing the men on board and making sure they were all right.

“We were then told that three of the fishing boat crew had drifted away and were going in different directions, so we sent two Zodiacs (ribs) out and we were able to recover them.

“They were all very quiet at first, but they were more chatty a few hours later and a couple of them could speak English. One of them said that every time he shut his eyes, he could still see the vast blue sea in his mind.

“It was nice to be part of the rescue effort and we were pleased that we were able to recover all of the fishing boat crew.”

Mr Horton managed to take some video footage of part of the rescue.