The coxswain of Baltimore Lifeboat, Kieran Cotter, has called on people to dispose of their plastic responsibly after the RNLI was called out on Wednesday afternoon to a fishing vessel that got into difficulty after its propeller was fouled by waste netting.
Mr Cotter said the incident – which saw a fishing vessel get into difficulty south of Kedge Island off the coast of Baltimore – served to ‘highlight one of the hazards of materials being discarded at sea.’
The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat following a request from the Irish Coast Guard at 2.12pm to assist the eight-metre fishing vessel, which had two people onboard, after it had become propped on floating netting.
The lifeboat with five volunteer crew onboard, coxswain Kieran Cotter, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Don O’Donovan, Jim Griffiths and Emma Lupton, established a tow and brought the vessel back to Baltimore harbour, arriving at 3.23pm.
Mr Cotter told The Southern Star: ‘People are being very irresponsible in disposing of their waste at sea. There isn’t vast amounts of debris around here, but it is there, and it is creating problems: boats at sea are getting their propellers fouled and have to call the emergency service.’
He said there are also concerns for the impact it is having on birds and fish who get caught in discarded plastic and he asked people to ‘be responsible.’