Family fishing boat is proving tricky to catch

September 8th, 2020 8:00 PM

By Jackie Keogh

The ferry’s rescue boat explores the upturned fishing boat. (Photo: Capt Gerry Burns, Master, Irish Ferries’ Isle of Inishmore)

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A GARRETTSTOWN fishing boat that broke her mooring during Storm Ellen on August 21st was found adrift 150 miles from home, and is now lost again.

Cormac Holland, is from Togher, but had the vessel docked at the Old Head in Kinsale. He said he and his dad, Pat, were initially delighted that their 20ft Orkney Angler had been located, but are now sad that the search has had to resume.

It was the Irish Ferries vessel, the Isle of Inishmore that located the boat on Sunday, August 30th after it was spotted off the coast of Wales.

Milford Haven RNLI lifeboat and the Irish Ferries Isle of Inishmore rescue boat went to investigate and subsequently notified the owners.

The captain of the ferry, Gerry Burns – a Union Hall man who now lives in Co Down – spoke to Afloat magazine about the incident.

He said they were returning from Pembroke Dock to Rosslare when, at about 4.30pm, the ship’s lookout spotted the upturned black and blue hull of the boat drifting about 150 miles from her home port.

The captain said they didn’t know if there was anyone on board when they found her, and the ferry promptly altered its course to investigate.

Captain Burns said the hull was conspicuous at sea in the good weather due to the fact that a large red mooring buoy was still attached to its bow.

He said details of the discovery were conveyed to the Coast Guard and the ferry stood by for an hour until the Milford Haven RNLI lifeboat arrived on scene.

The lifeboat attempted to right the fishing boat and from their attempts were able to tell that it was called Braveheart. However, they were ultimately unsuccessful and Cormac confirmed the vessel has since moved and they are ‘trying to find it again.’

Cormac said: ‘We don’t have our happy ending just yet. We know it was, in its last location, six miles northwest of St Bride’s Bay.

‘We have a salvage team from Wales searching for it. We’ve also had incredible support from Captain Gerry Burns, and for that we are truly grateful. We hope that in next week’s Southern Star we will have a much happier tale to tell and that we will have our family fishing boat back again.’

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