Fishing trawler sinks off Wicklow coast: Three crew rescued

The men were forced to abandon ship after a fire broke out on board

A fishing trawler caught fire and sank off the Wicklow coast on Thursday, leading to the rescue of three crew members.

The men were forced to abandon ship and managed to get from a lifeboat into a nearby vessel which had come to their aid.

Shortly afterwards RNLI rescuers transferred two of the casualties to their boat for medical attention while the third was airlifted to hospital.

The incident occurred about 48 kilometres (30 miles) off the coast on Thursday afternoon with an emergency distress beacon alerting the Coast Guard at about 3.45pm. They then dispatched the RNLI and helicopter response.


The cause of the fire is not clear. The 14 metre unnamed trawler eventually sank despite the efforts of a tug boat with fire-fighting capability to extinguish the flames.

"Thankfully, all three fishermen were rescued this evening and we would like to wish them all a speedy recovery following what must have been a frightening experience," said Arklow RNLI coxswain Ned Dillon, who praised the crew members for taking the decision to abandon ship.

“It is always sad to see a fishing vessel sink but we are delighted that all three fishermen are safe and recovering from their ordeal this evening.”

Mr Dillon also thanked a number of vessels in the area who had responded to the situation as well as Wicklow RNLI and Irish Coast Guard responders.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times