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Sinking fishing boat with three on board rescued off Seven Heads in West Cork

Lifeboats News Release

Courtmacsherry RNLI arrived in Union Hall at 1am this morning (27 September) with a stricken 60ft fishing boat that had got into difficulties some seven hours earlier when the crew reported in a Mayday call at 5.46pm that they were sinking.

In a difficult tow, in very poor conditions, the lifeboat moored the casualty vessel at the pierhead and proceeded back on the two hour trip to base in Courtmacsherry.

Courtmacsherry RNLI was called out at 5.46pm yesterday evening (Monday) to go to the immediate aid of a 60 was called out at 5.46pm yesterday evening (Monday) to go to the immediate aid of a 60ft fishing boat that was sinking 20 miles off the Seven Heads coastline in West Cork. 

The lifeboat under Coxswain Sean O Farrell and a crew of five launched immediately in response to the serious Mayday alert and in poor conditions and bad visibility reached the casualty at 6.40pm. The vessel had been taking in water rapidly and the Naval Vesel LE Niamh took part in the rescue, as was in the vicinity, while the Irish Coast Guard helicopter was also tasked from Waterford.

The lifeboat succeeded in transferring its mobile pump and crew to the trawler in order to stem the intake of water in the boat. Pumps from the Naval Vessel were also used.

The lifeboat took the stricken vessel in tow and headed at low speed for Union Hall with constant monitoring of the intake of water on the fishing boat.

Conditions at sea were very poor with strong winds force 6/7 with heavy swells in the area. The visibility was described as very poor with low lying fog.

The Navy vessel LE Niamh stood by tonight as the powerful Trent Class lifeboat towed the boat, while the lifeboat crew at the same time used its mobile pump to keep the water ingress under control. 

Brian O'Dwyer, Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'We are all pleased that this evening's rescue was carried out efficiently under Coxswain Sean O'Farrell and his volunteer crew of five including local farmer Colin Bateman who manned the mobile pump as he boarded the Fishing Vessel. This was a fast response from the crew this evening, when every minute gained was precious'.

The crew on this evenings' call out included Coxswain Sean O Farrell, mechanic Pat Lawton, Colin Bateman, Ciaran Hurley, Dara Gannon and Conor Dullea.


RNLI Media Contact

For further information if required contact Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat LPO Vincent O Donovan at 086 2530637 or Lifeboat House at 023 8846600.


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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

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