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Help, we have diesel in the bilge!: From a normal mission of SeaHelp rescuers

SeaHelp crew on the way to the accident ship

The vacation and vacation season has begun, which also affects the deployment figures of SeaHelp: no day on which the “yellow angels on the water” currently do not have to move out. We accompanied a team on a mission from Punat on Krk, Croatia.

No matter whether it is towing or starting assistance, fuel service, spare parts deliveries, free towing in case of light grounding, freeing lines in the propeller, passenger transport, assistance in case of power failure or fire on board, or whether telephone support was required in medical emergencies – the nautical breakdown service of SeaHelp is available to its members 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with advice and assistance reliably and quickly.

Mostly the rescuers have to do it with light groundings of yachts, here there was an increase of the employments in the comparison to the previous year of 17 per cent, it says from the operation center in Punat; in addition, with electrical problems on board the rescuers are often called (plus 26 per cent) as well as in the cases, in which the sports ship crews are without fuel (plus 27 per cent).

Often SeaHelp responders have to tow other sport yachts, including a tow today

Often a yacht needs to be towed; here, there was a 41 percent increase in the number of deployments for towing yachts compared to last year for Croatia alone). Towing is always necessary when the yacht is unable to continue under its own power, when the crew asks for assistance, or when it is too dangerous to continue, for example because fuel has leaked.

Such a case also happened today – SeaHelp headquarters received a call from an Austrian crew. The crew – a married couple from Gmunden, had left their 22-year-old but well-maintained Gobbi 375 SC wanted to refuel. In the process, he said, about 100 liters of diesel accidentally ended up in the bilge instead of in the tank as planned. What to do? Skipper Torsten dialed the SeaHelp phone number.

On a sport yacht, diesel had accidentally landed in the bilge instead of in the tank – a case for SeaHelp’s emergency services

At the operations center in Punat, Vedran and Marin immediately get ready. It is only a few steps from the office to the harbor where the response boat is moored. While Marin unties the lines, Vedran starts the engines. The two of them routinely cast off – and just a few minutes later they are at full speed on the waterway to Krk. As soon as they enter the bay, they spot the Gobbi – the GRP boat is moored on the western shore at the jetty of a repair yard.


SeaHelp crew goes alongside the wrecked vessel


Vedran and Marin go alongside the shipwrecked vessel, get a picture of the situation, reassure the crew. The boat is well fendered and moored, and off they go again out of the bay – with the pleasure craft alongside. As the old town church of Krk slowly moves aft and clear water is reached, the Gobbi is hooked up to the tow line, so that towing can be done more comfortably – and faster.



SeaHelp towed the pleasure craft safely to a yacht service in Punat; here the diesel could be professionally pumped out and disposed of

Diesel in the bilge is dangerous, says operations manager Marko Orlic. He says the crew of the Gobbi made the right decision to turn off all consumers on board, close all valves and notify SeaHelp. This way, the boat can now be towed safely to a special shipyard in Punat, where the diesel can be professionally pumped out and disposed of, and the yacht can be professionally cleaned.


The owner couple Andrea and Torsten from Gmunden sincerely thanked their “yellow angels” Vedran and Marin when they delivered their Naty safe and sound at the yacht service in Punat, for them a membership at SeaHelp was a matter of course – once again it has been shown that this was the right decision, said owner Torsten. With a bit of luck, the Gobbi will now be able to continue its journey again soon – thanks to SeaHelp.

Owner couple Andrea and Torsten from Gmunden expressed their heartfelt thanks to their

A SeaHelp membership is a given, the owner couple said, and were pleased with the prompt, professional help

The two SeaHelp employees said a friendly goodbye to the owner couple from Austria, wished them all the best – and set course for their next location, because in the meantime another call for help had already reached the SeaHelp helpline: a yacht had run aground. Could SeaHelp help? Of course, in a few minutes the rescue boat would be on the spot, was the telephone answer of the friendly service employee from the head office. A normal day for the SeaHelp staff from Punat.

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