The life and livelihood of a commercial fisherman in Kinsale was saved by the local lifeboat on Tuesday morning.
At 10am on April 21st, the RNLI lifeboat – the Miss Sally Anne Baggy II – responded to a call that a 23ft fishing vessel, the Ruby O, had suffered engine failure in rough seas north of Hake Head.
The lifeboat helm, Jonathan Connor, confirmed that there was a danger of the vessel, and its skipper, being swept onto the rocks. The helm assessed the situation and towed the fishing boat to safe water for further inspection. He determined that the vessel was structurally sound, which meant the skipper could remain on board as it was towed to Kinsale’s main harbour.
The skipper, Michael O’Donovan, a local, spoke of his relief at being rescued by the crew. He said the crew arrived in the nick of time.
‘Another 15 minutes and the boat, and my livelihood, was gone,’ he said. ‘I was wearing a lifejacket, but I was right under the cliff edge in a big swell, so I wouldn’t have been able to climb out of there. I was very glad to see the boys come out of harbour.’
Jonathan Connor spoke to The Southern Star and confirmed that the RNLI remains on call throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Connor acknowledged that there are fewer people on the water than usual – a number that does include fishermen who are essential workers – but he called on the public to ‘stay home, stay safe and stay ashore while the restrictions are in place.’