Crew of Galway trawler rescued from rough seas off Cork coast
Five-hour operation after 33-year-old trawler took in water after hull was breached
The Frederick Storey Cockburn, pictured, escorted the Maria Magdalena III to Kinsale Harbour. File photograph: Courtmacsherry Harbour Lifeboat Facebook
Five fishermen were helped to port by the RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard on Sunday in a five-hour ordeal when their trawler started taking in water in rough seas off the west Cork coast.
The 24-metre Maria Magdalena III, fishing out of Rossaveal in Co Galway, got into difficulties some 27 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale in west Cork on Sunday morning when her hull was breached and she began taking in water.
The Maria Magdalena III signalled for assistance at about 11am on Sunday and the Irish Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre on Valentia Island in Co Kerry began an operation to assist the damaged 33-year-old trawler.
The Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 117, was tasked from Waterford to assist and dropped a winch man and an emergency salvage pump on board the trawler to allow the crew start pumping water from the boat.
Meanwhile, the Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat, the Frederick Storey Cockburn, under coxswain Mark Gannon was also tasked by Valentia Marine Rescue to help in the operation and she proceeded to the scene.
Conditions were difficult at the time with force seven/eight winds and huge swells causing the Maria Magdelena III to pitch and roll heavily in the big seas as her crew began pumping the water from the vessel.
The Frederick Storey Cockburn stayed alongside the stricken trawler in case her crew had to be suddenly evacuated or any other assistance was required if the pumping operation was unable to clear the intake of water.
However, the crew of the Maria Magdelena III managed to pump out the water and with the Frederick Storey Cockburn escorting her, she made her way to Kinsale Harbour where she arrived at 4pm and moored up.
All five crew were reported to be safe and well and, according to a Courtmacsherry RNLI spokesman, “a highly relieved skipper thanked all the rescue services for their superb help in the rescue”.