Courtmacsherry RNLI involved in rescue of four fishermen after boat goes on fire
Courtmacsherry RNLI's all-weather Trent class lifeboat was called out this morning Friday (14 May) at 1.45am, to go to the immediate aid of a 60ft fishing vessel that went on fire while fishing 20 miles south east of the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.
The lifeboat, Frederick Storey Cockburn under Coxswain Sean O'Farrell and a crew of six were away quickly from their moorings, as a Mayday alert was issued by the crew that their boat had caught fire and they required immediate help.
Once the Mayday distress was relayed by the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre in Valentia, all available boats that were in the area at the time, raced to assist in the rescue. Also tasked was the Coast Guard Rescue 117 Helicopter from Waterford.
Within minutes of the Mayday alert being issued, the crew of four on the fishing vessel had to abandon to their liferaft as the fire had engulfed their boat. Just after 2.20am, the Offshore Supply boat Pathfinder operating at the Kinsale Gas Field located the bright orange liferaft, after it deployed its own fast rescue boat to the scene. It immediately took all four crew from the liferaft on board safely and while well shocked, no one was injured.
When the Courtmacsherry lifeboat and the Rescue 117 helicopter arrived on scene, all four casualties were then transferred to the safe surround of the Courtmacsherry lifeboat.
Another Offshore Supply boat operating at the Gas field, used its powerful pumps to get the fire under control while the Courtmacsherry lifeboat brought the four fisherman back to safe terrain in Courtmacsherry arriving shortly after 5am.
Also arriving on scene was the Navy Vessel George Bernard Shaw who continues to monitor the fire damaged boat as it has sunk in the past few minutes. Those rescued were well relieved to be on land again and thanked the many boats and rescue services involved in this morning’s dramatic rescue.
Brian O'Dwyer, Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'We are all so relieved that all four crewmen were rescued so quickly in darkness this morning and praised the fast response of the Kinsale Gas Field Supply Boats who were quickly on scene'. He also thanked the 13 crew at the lifeboat station who rose from their beds early this morning and rushed to the station, in order to help others in distress at sea.
The Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat crew involved in this morning’s call out were Coxswain Sean O'Farrell, mechanic Tadgh McCarthy and crewmembers Dara Gannon, Denis Murphy, Evin O Sullivan , Jim O Donnell and Dean Hennessy.
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.