Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was launched to assist a local fishing vessel.

Fishing vessel lost ability to manoeuvre

One of Cork’s RNLI crews came to the assistance of a 33 foot foot local fishing vessel after it lost its ability to manoeuvre on the north side of Sheep’s Head.

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was launched on 29 March after it received an alert at 12.29pm from Valentia Coastguard Maritime Coordination Rescue Centre requesting assistance for a boat reported to be in difficulty. Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat Annette Hutton was launched within eight minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty with crew Marney O’Donoghue, Sean ‘Bawn’ O’Sullivan, Joe Cronin, David O’Donovan and William Power. The lifeboat arrived to the stricken vessel, which had three people onboard, at 1.02pm, and the weather at the time was described as westerly force 3/4 winds and a one-metre swell. A spokesperson for Castletownbere RNLI explained: “The boat was unable to manoeuvre as the anchor rope had become entangled in the propellor. Contact was made with the vessel and the decision was made to launch the lifeboat’s Y-boat with two crew aboard in an effort to cut the rope off the propellor.” Simultaneously, the lifeboat took the vessel in tow in an effort to take the weight off the rope and the Y-boat crew successfully removed most of the rope and freed the boat.

The spokesperson added: “However, a small amount of rope remained stuck to the rudder and it was decided, for safety reasons, to continue to tow the boat back to Castletownbere. The lifeboat, with the boat in tow, left the scene at 2.34pm and arrived back to port by 4.07pm. The three persons onboard were safe and well. The lifeboat was refuelled and ready for service again by 4.28pm.”

Brendan O’Neill, Duty Launching Authority, praised those on the vessel for seeking assistance at an early stage and complimented the lifeboat crew for their speedy response and successful outcome.