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Achill Island RNLI launch to assist drifting unmanned fishing trawler

Lifeboats News Release

Achill Island RNLI responded to a request from the Irish Coast Guard to come to the rescue of an unmanned fishing trawler in severe weather conditions this afternoon, (Friday) 11 August.

RNLI/Eilish Power

The 36ft trawler was moored between Purteen Harbour and Inishgalloon at Achill Island and was pulling its anchor and drifting dangerously close to the rocky shore in stormy conditions.

The volunteer crew launched the all-weather lifeboat ‘Sam and Ada Moody’, shortly before 1.30pm under the command of Coxswain, Dave Curtis, with Michael Cattigan, Mechanic, Thomas Ruddy, Stephen McGreal, Ivan Swarbrigg and Terry Hogarth on board. Conditions were very challenging at the time with storm force winds and 3 metre swells.

On arrival, the crew assessed the situation and observed that the trawler was moving dangerously close to the nearby rocks. A decision was taken to put two crew on board the drifting trawler, which was then taken on tow and brought to another mooring nearby. Once safely secured, the two crew members returned to the lifeboat and the lifeboat then made way back to station arriving shortly before 4pm.

Speaking after the call out, Achill Island RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Ciaran Needham, said: ‘Weather and sea conditions were very challenging this afternoon, but our crew train for all eventualities and they were delighted to be able to come to the rescue of this vessel this afternoon. If you see someone, or some vessel in need of help, don’t ever hesitate to call the Coast Guard and ask for help. Our crew are always happy to respond when needed.’


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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.

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