Spanish crew rescued from sinking trawler


Ten Spanish crewmen were rescued from a sinking fishing trawler off the coast of Co Clare today.

A major rescue operation was launched shortly after 10am after the captain of the 40-metre French-registered trawler Koaxiissued a mayday call and reported that his boat was on fire and sinking.

The boat was 50 kilometres west of Loop Head in Co Clare at the time. There were no injuries reported.

Efforts by the Spanish crew to tackle the engine room blaze failed and the boat began to list.

Valentia Coastguard Radio, who coordinated the operation, relayed the mayday call to other fishing vessels in the area as well as alerting the Shannon- and Sligo-based Irish Coastguard helicopters. The Shannon helicopter was already airborne and was on its way to a training exercise when it was diverted to the scene.

The Fenit lifeboat was also tasked to the incident. Several vessels which had been in the area, including the Irish naval ship LE Aoife, also went to the scene.

The Koaxisank about three hours after the crew of 10 had been taken to safety by another fishing vessel, the Concerto- a French-registered vessel with a Spanish crew. The Concertoarrived at the scene less than an hour after the alarm was raised.

It is understood that both vessels are based in Cork.