Rescue operation under way to prevent freighter hitting rocks

Lily B with nine crew on board loses power in stormy seas near Hook Head

Three RNLI lifeboat crews have successfully prevented a stricken 4,000-tonne cargo ship from hitting the rocks at Hook Head, Co Wexford. Video: RNLI


A major rescue operation is under way off the southeast coast to prevent a freighter, with nine crew aboard, from drifting on to rocks after it lost power in rough seas on Tuesday.

The Lily B, a 3,000-tonne freighter, had sailed from Brunsbüttel at the mouth of the Elbe in northern Germany to Waterford when it lost power coming out of Waterford port at around 2.30pm on Tuesday.

The 100m ship, which is registered in Antigua and Barbuda, called for assistance as she was drifting towards Hook Head in Co Wexford in Force 6 southwesterly winds that were throwing up four- to five-metre swells.

A rescue operation was launched by the Irish Coast Guard Marine Rescue Centre based in Dublin and the Waterford Rescue 117 helicopter has been dispatched to the scene.

Three RNLI lifeboats, from Rosslare and Kilmore Quay in Co Wexford and Dunmore East in Co Waterford, have arrived on scene and managed to get tows on board and are holding the ship from drifting towards the head.

However, the three lifeboats do not have sufficient power to tow the freighter back to port. A tug has been dispatched from Waterford and is due to arrive on scene at around 5.30pm with the intention of bringing the freighter back to port for repairs.