Courtmacsherry RNLI in call out to 75ft fishing vessel in difficulties
Courtmacsherry RNLI's all-weather Trent class lifeboat was called out this morning (Sunday 9 May) at 11am, to go to the aid of a 75ft fishing vessel that had got into difficulties 27 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.
The all-weather lifeboat, Frederick Storey Cockburn under Coxswain Mark Gannon and a crew of six were underway from their moorings in the harbour within minutes of being alerted by the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination centre in Valentia and proceeded at full speed to the area of the casualty.
Conditions at sea today were very difficult with Force 7/8 winds and high sea swells. The fishing vessel with five crew members onboard had put out a distress signal when its hull was breached in difficult sea conditions and was taking in water.
Also launched was the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 117 helicopter from Waterford. Just after 12 noon, the Coast Guard Helicopter dropped an emergency salvage pump and winch man on to the fishing vessel deck and the Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat readied their emergency salvage pump, and plans were finalised to pump the water from the stricken vessel in order for it to continue being operational.
As the water was pumped from the vessel, the lifeboat stood by alongside in readiness for evacuation of crew or any other assistance if required. With the pumping of the water being successful, and the seas very difficult, the lifeboat escorted the boat at a safe speed back into the safe surrounds of Kinsale Harbour, arriving just after 4pm. A relieved fishing vessel skipper thanked all the rescue services for their superb help in today’s rescue.
Courtmacsherry RNLI Deputy Launching Authority and Lifeboat Press Officer Vincent O Donovan said: 'Great credit is due to all our volunteer crew members who rushed to answer the call out this morning and headed into very rough seas to help others in distress. We commend both the Coast Guard Rescue 117 helicopter crew and the crew of the lifeboat in carrying out a very professional rescue involving salvage pumps in rough seas and strong winds.'
The Courtmacsherry RNLI volunteer crew involved in today’s call out were Coxswain Mark Gannon, mechanic Chris Guy and crew members Mark John Gannon, Dara Gannon, Denis Murphy, Ciaran Hurley and Evin O Sullivan.
Picture attached shows the fishing vessel and the Coast Guard Rescue 117 Helicopter, as they drop the emergency salvage pumps and winchman on board the causality in heavy seas with the Lifeboat standing by.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.