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Sunken trawler under 24-hour watch to prevent fuel leakage

February 12th, 2022 11:40 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Workers from LCF Marine in Castletownbere replacing booms around the boat to contain any oil spillage in Union Hall on Wednesday after the trawler sank on Sunday. (Photos: Andy Gibson)

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RESIDENTS of Union Hall are concerned about diesel and hydraulic fluid leaking after a trawler sank alongside the pier on Sunday night.

It is understood that the vessel – the Sceptre – was once owned by a local fishing family, but is now owned by a man from Wexford.

Cork County Council operatives worked to contain the diesel spill and anti-pollution booms were put in place, but there is no indication, at this stage, if the stricken vessel will be towed away from Keelbeg Pier.

‘There was quite a smell of diesel and oil over the last few days but great efforts have been made to contain it,’ one local woman told The Southern Star. However, she said, there was evidence of ‘some oil outside of the containment area.’

Locals said it was ‘inevitable’ that something was going to happen because the trawler had been idle at the pier side for a long number of years – a situation that angered some local fishermen who believed it was taking up valuable space.

When it started to sink, one person said fishermen had to work to make sure their boats, which were tied up to it, were not damaged.

Cork County Council said it convened its oil spill assessment team as part of its oil spill contingency plan and a contractor was mobilised and the area around the vessel was sealed off shortly after midnight on Sunday night to contain oil pollution risk.

Oils are being removed from within the containment area on a continuous basis, using absorbent booms and pads. The site continues to be monitored on a 24-hour basis

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