The vessel was reported to have sunk shortly before 7am. Photo: Maersk Maker/Irish Coast Guard

Crew in good spirits after fire on fishing vessel

The crew of a vessel which caught fire in the early hours of the morning, 17 miles off Old Head of Kinsale, are said to be in good spirits.

Shortly before 2am this morning, 14 May, Valentia Coast Guard was alerted to a fire onboard the Irish fishing vessel Horizon.

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.

Conditions at the time were favourable with light winds and a moderate sea.

Other fishing and commercial vessels operating in the area also responded, as did the Naval ship LE George Bernard Shaw.

Shortly after the fire outbreak, the crew successfully abandoned the vessel and were recovered from their liferaft by the Offshore Supply ship Pathfinder that had been operating at the Kinsale Gas field.

The crew was subsequently transferred to the Courtmacsherry lifeboat. There are no reports of any injuries being suffered by the crew.

Another vessel on scene the 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 7am.

A spokesperson for the Irish Coast Guard said: “The Coast Guard has extended its thanks to all on scene respondents for their timely and professional support and expressed relief that no serious injuries were incurred in what was potentially a very serious situation.”