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21.50 15 May 2018


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A Canadian barge that has been drifting at sea for over six months has been towed in to safety in County Mayo.

The vessel broke free from its moorings over 3,000km away in Newfoundland, Canada last November.

The Ballyglass RNLI lifeboat crew brought the 26-metre-long boat to safety last night – after a local fishing vessel spotted it floating off the coast.

The RNLI crew worked for seven hours securing the barge and mooring it at a local lifeboat point – before eventually standing down at 2am.

Image: Ballyglass RNLI

Ballyglass RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Padraic Sheeran said the callout was completely unexpected.

“You do hear of vessels and craft breaking free of moorings, but it’s unusual to have one drift thousands of kilometres and have to be rescued by lifeboat,” he said.

“On a serious note though, it represented a major navigational danger to any vessel that it collided with and it was a relief to have it safely recovered.”

Padraic Sheeran from Ballyglass Lifeboat told Midwest Radio that it is a “fairly large platform” adding “you would land a helicopter on it no problem.”

It is the second boat to make the trip across the Atlantic unmanned in recent years, after a solar-powered houseboat washed up near Cross Beach in County Mayo in 2016


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