Irish Coast Guard Helicopter R117 has airlifted the crew of trawler Ellie Adhamh to safety
In an unfortunate turn of events tonight, the crew of the trawler Ellie Adhamh had to abandon their boat as it was being towed towards safety tonight.
The Irish Coast Guard has reported that the Irish Coast Guard helicopter R117 was called upon to airlift the seven crew members from the boat as it began to take water in rough sea conditions. The boat was under tow by the Irish Naval vessel the LÉ George Bernard Shaw from earlier in the day. The Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was also at the scene all day assisting with the multiagency operation.
The crew is now safely back on dry land following their harrowing experience.
The trawler from west Cork which had been drifting overnight, raised the alarm after it lost engine power on Friday morning. Successive attempts to restart its engine has failed.
Attempts were made to tow the vessel by other fishing vessels failed as tow lines keep breaking in the heavy seas being experienced and a tug which had gone to its aid had to return to port after it was struck by a giant wave 30 km offshore, which shattered the wheelhouse windows. The tug had to return to port for emergency repairs.
A Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched to the area to standby as a precautionary measure while a Naval Service vessel is diverting from fishery patrol duties to aid the trawler.
Last night Rescue helicopters 115 and 117 remained on standby to airlift the crew and a number of fishing vessels remained in the area to support the stricken vessel and it is expected the LÉ Bernard Shaw will arrive on the scene.
Irish Coast Guard helicopter R115 had been at the scene earlier today with R117 on standby.
Irish Coast Guard Update – Fishing Vessel ELLIE ADHAMH began taking water while under tow by Irish Naval ship LE George Bernard Shaw, Irish Coast Guard Helicopter R117 winched the crew onboard and brought them safety to Cork, footage of crew from R115 earlier today in rough Sea conditions securing a tow line. RNLI Castletownbere All Weather Lifeboat assisted with the operation.
UPDATE: LÉ GEORGE BERNARD SHAW continued to tow Fishing Vessel ELLIE ADHAMH towards Bantry Bay. During the afternoon a further deterioration in the weather and sea conditions hampered efforts to pump out water and stabilise the situation. The decision was made to abandon ship but due to the conditions the 7 crew members were winched onboard R117 to safety. LÉ GEORGE BERNARD SHAW continued to tow the vessel but in increasing sea and swell conditions the Tow parted. P64 has now been released by MRCC and returns to Maritime Defence and Security Operations
Incident Update 4: Fishing Vessel ELLIE ADHAMH began taking water while under tow by @naval_service Naval ship LE George Bernard Shaw, IRCG Helicopter R117 winched the crew onboard and brought safety to Cork, footage of crew from R115 earlier today in rough Sea conditions. pic.twitter.com/qkY8sUxckR
— Irish Coast Guard (@IrishCoastGuard) March 27, 2021