BY JACKIE KEOGH
DISTANCE and bad weather made a recovery mission arduous for the crew of the Baltimore lifeboat recently.
Kieran Cotter, coxswain of the all-weather Alan Massey, confirmed their response to the distress call after an Irish fishing trawler broke down, about 40 miles south of Baltimore last Sunday week.
It was ‘a difficult shout because of the distance from shore and the weather conditions’, he said.
But, he said it was ‘great to have such an experienced crew’ – comprising Jerry Smith, Pat Collins, Kieran Collins, Aidan Bushe, Brian McSweeney and Ger Sheehy – who performed ‘excellently’ under the difficult conditions.
Mizen Head Coast Guard reported five people on board at the time that the alert was raised, and it was at 5pm that the Alan Massey was launched under the command of Kieran Cotter.
The lifeboat travelled south, directly into the prevailing swell, which made progress slow, about 14 to 17 knots. The wind was from the South, and about force five to six with visibility moderate, and the sea rough, with 3-5m swells.
Just shortly after 7.30pm, the crew spotted the distressed vessel and the lifeboat established a tow at 7.55pm, shortly after arriving on the scene.
Kieran explained that the return journey was a lot smoother than the journey out and averaged about 6.5 knots, making the shelter of Baltimore Harbour at 2:15am on the Monday morning. A falling tide delayed berthing, but eventually the fishing vessel was secured at the pier at 3:20am.