Fishing trawler sinks off Wicklow coast: Three crew rescued

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

Lifeboat crews from Arklow and Wicklow RNLI have rescued three crew members from a fishing trawler that had caught fire 48km off of Arklow - the vessel later sank despite firefighting efforts. Video: RNLI

 

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.

RNLI rescuers responding to a burning trawler off the Wicklow Coast. Photograph: courtesy RNLI
RNLI rescuers responding to a burning trawler off the Wicklow Coast. Photograph: courtesy RNLI

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.