Naval Service tows trawler stranded off Cork coast towards Bantry

Seven on board Ellie Adhamh spent night in seas off Bull Rock after losing power

LE George Bernard Shaw towing Ellie Adhamh towards Bantry. Photograph: Irish Coast Guard

LE George Bernard Shaw towing Ellie Adhamh towards Bantry. Photograph: Irish Coast Guard

 

A fishing vessel stranded off the Cork coast with a crew of seven aboard is being towed towards Bantry by the Naval ship LE George Bernard Shaw, according to the Irish Coast Guard.

The Wexford-registered trawler, Ellie Adhamh, lost power early on Friday morning 130km off the Bull Rock in west Cork while returning from a prawn fishing trip in the Porcupine Bank.

A major rescue operation was launched involving the Irish Coast Guard and the Naval Service and co-ordinated by the Irish Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Valentia Island.

Force 4 westerly winds were whipping up big seas and a plan by a Bere Island tug to assist the fishing vessel had to be abandoned after it was damaged by a large wave.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 from Shannon was then tasked to assist and proceeded to the scene but the captain and his crew opted to remain on the stricken fishing vessel.

The fishing vessel Ellie Adhamh lost power off the west Cork coast. Photograph: Rescue 115/Facebook
The fishing vessel Ellie Adhamh lost power off the west Cork coast. Photograph: Rescue 115/Facebook

The LE George Bernard Shaw also proceeded to the scene but was unable to get a tow aboard on Friday night and remained on standby to assist the fishing vessel during a rough night.

But the Irish Coast Guard has confirmed that weather conditions have improved and the ship is towing the vessel towards Bantry, with the Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat monitoring the tow.

A helicopter also transferred water pumps on to the vessel, which had been taking on water on Friday.

According to the Coast Guard, the tow is proceeding satisfactorily and is expected to reach Bantry Bay later this evening where arrangements will be made to have the vessel taken into port.

“The weather has improved and there’s a window of several hours before she turns again so the hope is to get back her into Bantry Bay and the shelter there as soon as possible,” said a source.