Spanish fisherman treated in hospital after taking ill on trawler off Cork coast

RNLI Castletownbere Lifeboat located boat in harsh conditions and took man (50s) ashore

A Spanish fisherman was last night being treated in hospital after being successfully brought ashore by the RNLI Castletownbere Lifeboat after taking ill on his trawler off the west Cork coast.

The Irish Coast Guard Marine Search and Rescue Centre on Valentia Island tasked the RNLI Annette Hutton to go to the assistance of the seriously ill skipper shortly after 11pm on Tuesday night.

The skipper of the Nuevo Perez, a 32m (104.9ft) Spanish registered trawler, had taken ill aboard the vessel some 30.5km (19 miles) southwest of Ardnakinna Lighthouse on Bere Island and his crew radioed for help.

The RNLI Annette Hutton was launched under Cox Dave Fenton and with crew Marney O'Donogue, John Paul Downey, Kyle Cronin and Donagh Murphy that proceeded promptly to the scene.

They located the trawler battling challenging conditions with three to four metre swells and east-northeast winds gusting to Force 6 that made any on-scene transfer of the man difficult.

The RNLI Annette Hutton escorted the trawler to just inside the mouth of Castletownbere Harbour where the man, in his late 50s, was transferred to the lifeboat in calmer waters.

The lifeboat then took the man to RNLI Castletownbere Station where he was transferred to a waiting ambulance and brought to Bantry General Hospital for assessment and treatment.

Meanwhile, a local pilot went aboard and took command of the Neuvo Perez, which is based in Celeiro in Galicia, and berthed her safely at Castletownbere pier where she remains tied up.

Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat deputy launching authority, Felix O’Donoghue, praised the RNLI crew on its rapid response, maintaining strict Covid-19 protocols and the safe transfer of the man.