Stricken bulk carrier under tow off Cork coast

Tug brings vessel and crew of 13 towards shore after it drifted in stormy seas


A stricken bulk carrier with a crew of 13 on board is due in Cork Harbour this evening after a tug succeeded in getting a tow line aboard her this morning off the West Cork coast.

The Abuk Lion is currently proceeding at a speed of 2-3knots under tow after the ocean going tug Celtic Isle succeded in getting a line aboard the bulk carrier at about 9.40am.

The crew waited until first light and gale force winds and six metre high swells had moderated before trying to get the tow on board the stricken 5,600 tonne bulk carrier some 24km off the Old Head of Kinsale.

The Abuk Lion, registered in Antigua/Barbuda*, was en route from Aughinish in the Shannon Estuary to St Petersburg in Russia with 7,500 tonnes of bauxite when her engines failed off and she began drifting off the West Cork coast yesterday afternoon.


The crew of the 108-metre-long vessel raised the alarm about 3pm yesterday and the Irish Coastguard assessed the situation as the ship faced force 8 winds and six metres swells off the Cork coast.

The Irish Coastguard decided to dispatch the Celtic Isle tug to assist the stricken bulk carrier and tow her back to port in Cork.

The tug arrived on scene about 1am this morning but conditions were adjudged to be too dangerous to try and get a tow on board the ship.

The Irish Naval Ship, the LE Roisin was also on scene this morning and ready to assist if the Celtic Isle had been unable to get a tow aboard.

* This article was amended on Friday, January 3rd, 2014, to correct an error