Crew rescued after fishing vessel ran aground at Dursey Island

June 2nd, 2023 7:11 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The rescue of the crew from French fishing vessel, which ran aground off Dursey Island this afternoon (PIC: Castletownbere Coast Guard)

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Emergency services including the Castletownbere Coast Guard, Castletownbere All Weather RNLI lifeboat and Rescue 115 were tasked  by Valentia Coast Guard this afternoon at 3.15pm  to a French registered fishing vessel  that had gone aground at Dursey Island.
The 13 crew members  were aboard the 33m 'Grand St Bernard' fishing trawler after it ran aground onto rocks off Dursey Island and started to list and roll.
The volunteer crew from Castletownbere RNLI were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 2.30pm this afternoon (Friday 2 June)

'Once on scene and arriving at the same time as Rescue 115, the lifeboat crew observed that the vessel was hard aground, listing and rocking back and forth. The vessel’s crew who were on the deck and all wearing lifejackets were safe and well. However, with the trawler rolling 20-30 degrees to the right towards rocks, there were concerns that the boat may not hold. A decision was made not to attempt to pull the vessel off the rocks at that point but instead to airlift nine of the vessel’s crew off to safety,' said a spokesperson/

'Following a successful winching operation, the trawler eventually came off the rocks but lost steering 100m from the shore. The lifeboat crew worked with the four remaining crew to establish a tow line. Due to the near proximity to the shore, the lifeboat crew were assisted by the crew of a local fishing boat that was in the area at the time who helped to push the casualty vessel away from the shore.'

The tow was successfully set up 15-20m from the shore and the trawler was then towed out to sea by the lifeboat. The crew of Castletownbere RNLI subsequently passed the tow over to a tug on arrival.

The crew arrived safely back to the lifeboat station at approximately 6.20pm.

A Department of Transport spokesperson said that upon arrival, the vessel will be drydocked to enable a detailed hull inspection

Speaking following the call out, Castletownbere RNLI Coxswain Dean Hegarty said: ‘This was a challenging call out given that the boat was listing and there were concerns that it might roll further. We want to thank and commend our colleagues in Rescue 115, this was a great example of joint work and co-operation. We also want to thank the vessels in the area at the time who either stood by or assisted along with the two tugs that came from Atlantic Towage and Marine. We wish the trawler’s crew well following their ordeal today.

‘As we enter the bank holiday weekend and with the beautiful weather set to last for some days yet, we would ask people to remember that even in good weather, water temperatures remain cold, so if you are taking part in any water-based activity make sure you have the proper equipment and know how to do it safely.  Wear a lifejacket or suitable buoyancy aid, carry a means of communication, and keep it within reach and let someone on the shore know where you are going and when you are due back.

‘If you do get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

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