Fisherman rescued off Cork coast
A fisherman was rescued off the south coast of Cork last night after his vessel sank in calm weather.
The man, who was the sole crew member on board, alerted the Valentia Coast Guard base at 8.37pm by telephone.
The rescue came as Minister for Transport stated yesterday in the Dáil that the Valentia Coast Guard station would be remaining open.
The fisherman's boat, the 37ft Peggy M, sank shortly afterwards, but he had managed to activate an onboard lifeboat and safely escaped and waited to be rescued.
The Crosshaven life boat responded to the call and pulled him from the water shortly before 9pm, about one mile off Gyleen on the southern coast of Cork.
He was brought to Crosshaven, where his condition was assessed by medical personnel but was found to be in good health.
The cause of the sinking was unclear last night with sea conditions described as "perfect".
Labour TD Arthur Spring welcomed the news that Valentia Coast Guard station is to be kept open.
The future of the Coast Guard stations at Valentia and Malin had been in doubt for some time "but today’s announcement will bring welcome relief to Valentia and Kerry generally", he said in a statement.
“This provides welcome relief for staff at the Coast Guard station and the local community. The pall of uncertainty which threatened jobs and the local economy has now been lifted, and the excellent service that is provided from Valentia can continue."
He said he wished to pay "special tribute to the dedicated people involved in the ‘Save our Station’ campaign. Their tireless championing of this cause has helped to bring about a positive outcome.
“Ensuring the station’s survival is a positive move for the safety and welfare of those who work at sea, a relief for the workers at the station, and a respite for the local economy of South Kerry.”
Senator Marie Moloney also welcomed Mr Varadkar's announcement.
"Following recent concern about the future of these services as highlighted in the Fishers Report, it has now been decided that Minister Varadkar will not be recommending to Government the closure of services at Valentia and Malin.
"The Fisher report published had recommended keeping the Irish Coast Guard headquarters in Dublin and only one of the two other centres in the country in either Valentia or Malin.
“I am so pleased that the future of Valentia Coast Guard is safe. It has been such a worrying time for all concerned and it seemed senseless that the most active coastguard service in this country could be in jeopardy following the Fishers Report back in July."
She said she would "like to congratulate the ‘Save Our Station’ group and all other individuals who have fought for this decision”.