Young Irish skipper Patrick Healy has as the Government and the SFPA to give him a future in the fishing industry

After losing his fishing vessel the Horizon, young Irish skipper Patrick Healy has asked the Government and the SFPA to give him a future in the fishing industry. Photo R117

A young Irish skipper who lost his fishing vessel has made a heartfelt plea to the Irish Government and the fisheries authorities, “Give me a future and a reason to invest back into an industry that I love.”

Losing your boat is never an easy thing and as a fishing community our deepest sympathies go out to anyone suffers that dreadful fate.

In the early hours of last Friday morning, young skipper Patrick Healy who fishes from Skibbereen in Co Cork lost his boat, the Horizon S 329, to an onboard fire which broke out on the gillnetter 17 nautical miles off Old Kinsale Head.

In the dark of night, Patrick and his crew were forced to abandon the Horizon and take to their liferafts after alerting Valentia Coastguard to the incident.

A full-scale Search and Rescue operation was mounted, and Courtmacsherry All Weather Lifeboat and the Waterford based Coast Guard helicopter R117 were tasked to the scene.

Luckily for Patrick and his crew, no one was seriously injured, and they were picked-up by the nearby MV Vos Pathfinder who was working nearby on the decommissioning of the Kinsale Gas field.

Another vessel on scene the MV Maersk Maker attempted to extinguish the fire but to no avail. The wreck was monitored by the Coast Guard Helicopter and LE George Bernard Shaw. The vessel was reported to have sunk shortly before 7.00am on Friday morning.

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This incident once again highlights the dangers of the fishing industry. An incident that can be fatal can happen in a second and that could be the end.

Yesterday, Patrick graciously thanked all those involved in the rescue effort and called on Government bodies, the SFPA and the Minister for the Marine to do more for Irish fishing communities and young people like him. He said:

“Myself and the crew would like to thank all involved in last Friday mornings rescue. The Coast Guard on the radios, Rescue 117 , Courtmacsherry lifeboat volunteers (13 responded), Maersk Maker and all other vessels who responded.

“A special thanks to the Vos Pathfinder who were first on scene and acted so professionally and took great care of us on board while we waited for the Courtmacsherry lifeboat to arrive on scene very rapidly.

“Thanks to everyone for the messages of advice and well wishes and those who have helped me through the last number of days.

“On a separate note……. I call on the SFPA, Government body’s and relevant departments to stop pushing the Irish fishing industry into further turmoil.

“Give me a future and a reason to invest back into an industry that I love.

“The weighing system that is happening on point of landing needs to be stopped immediately and also to do away with the penalty points system which is making criminals of us before even being found guilty.

All we want is to earn an honest living from a job we love.”

by Oliver McBride

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Young Irish Skipper asks Government and SFPA “Give me a future”

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