Maryport Inshore Rescue will be out of action for the foreseeable future after its boat got into difficulty while responding to a distress call on Wednesday morning.

Station manager Mike Messenger said the crew were on their way to assist Workington and Silloth lifeboats who had responded to a report of a grounded scallop boat near Mawbray on the coast between Allonby and Silloth.

“We were heading out when the sponsors - the big yellow tubing on the front of the boat - just fell off, shooting up into the air and peeling like a banana.

“It was unsafe for us to carry on so we had to turn back to Maryport.”

He said the boat was still in the dock yesterday afternoon because the sea was too rough to try and remove it.

Speaking yesterday, he said: “We will be trying to get it late this afternoon and will then maybe be able to assess what happened. At this stage it is too soon to comment.

“We don’t know whether this has been wear and tear or if we have hit a particularly big wave. We will have it repaired as soon as possible but until then, we will not be able to respond to call-outs,” he said.

He said the voluntary group was hoping insurance would cover the damage.

Maryport Inshore Rescue had not initially been called to the scene but received a call-out to help shortly afterwards.

A second boat, Workington RNLI’s Dorothy May White, was also damaged during the rescue but this was not serious.

Emergency services were called out at 4.30am on Wednesday to reports of a 13 metre scallop boat being stuck in the Mawbray area.

The two lifeboats attempted to free the boat at high tide but were unsuccessful.

Silloth operations manager Eddie Studholme said there was only one person on board.

“We got him off because he was getting very cold, and will take him back to the boat at the next high water when we hope he will be able to refloat it.”

He said nobody was injured. The rescue crews were at the scene for three hours.