Irish Coast Guard Rescues Trawler From Flooding in Heavy Weather

Image courtesy Courtmacsherry RNLI

Published May 10, 2021 2:26 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Sunday, the Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat and the Irish Coast Guard came to the assistance of a trawler that had sustained a hull breach and flooding in rough weather off the coast of West Cork. 

At about 1100 hours Sunday morning, the RNLI received a distress call from a 75-foot fishing vessel located about 25 nm off the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The lifeboat Frederick Storey Cockburn and her seven crewmembers got underway from Courtmacsherry's harbor within minutes, and they made best speed to rendezvous with the casualty. Conditions were clear but rough, with winds of Force 7-8 and heavy swells. 

The fishing vessel had sustained a hull breach in the rough weather and was taking on water. To help control the flooding as quickly as possible, the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 117 helicopter deployed from Waterford with a salvage pump on board. Just after 1200, the helicopter delivered a winchman and the pump onto the vessel's deck. The Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat also readied their emergency salvage pump and stood by to provide evacuation if needed. 

The augmented dewatering effort managed to bring the flooding under control. Given the continued rough conditions and the risk to the vessel, the lifeboat escorted the trawler at a safe speed back to Kinsale Harbour, arriving just after 1600 hours. 

"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," Courtmacsherry RNLI Deputy Launching Authority and Lifeboat Press Officer Vincent O Donovan said. "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."