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12.31 27 Mar 2021


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A stricken trawler is being towed back to the coast of Cork by a Navy Ship in an operation that could take nine hours.

Wexford registered ship, the Ellie Adhamh, lost power early on Friday morning.

The Navy's LE George Bernard Shaw is towing the trawler back towards Bantry Bay, after poor weather conditions halted attempts to do so last night.

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An offer was extended to the captain and six crew from the Ellie Adhamh to evacuate on board a helicopter, but they declined.

They stayed on board through the night, in swells of up to ten metres, with the LE George Bernard Shaw nearby.

The trawler is about 70 miles off the coast of Bantry Bay, and efforts to attach a tow this morning have been successful.

The Navy ship is pulling the trawler back towards the Bay, with the Castletownbere lifeboat and Rescue Helicopters on standby.

The entire operation is being coordinated by the Valentia Rescue Centre.

File image of an Irish Coastguard helicopter. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Archive/PA Images

In an update from the Coast Guard this afternoon, they said the Rescue 115 helicopter this morning deployed their Winchman to the vessel with two salvage pumps to help pump water from the fishing vessel to prevent it from sinking

"We also provided assistance with the tow line. All seven crew remain on board and currently under tow," they added.

"Rescue 115 remains on standby to effect rescue should the incident escalate."

Micheál O'Toole, Operations Manager with the Coast Guard, says the operation to tow her back to shore will be slow and steady.

He told Newstalk: "At the moment, the LE George Bernard Shaw has successfully established a tow with the fishing vessel, being supported by the Casteltownbere all-weather lifeboat.

"It is currently working to tow the vessel back to the Bantry Bay area.

"At present, that could take anything between eight and nine hours."

Reporting by Tom Douglas and Marita Moloney

Main image: The Ellie Adhamh. Credit: Rescue 115/Facebook

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Coast Guard Cork Rescue Ellie Adhamh Irish Navy LE George Bernard Shaw Trawler Trawler Rescue

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