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Dublin: 15 °C Monday 13 July, 2020

Three men rescued after trawler catches fire and sinks off Wicklow coast

One of the fishermen had to be airlifted to hospital.

THREE FISHERMEN WERE rescued after their trawler caught fire and subsequently sank off the Wicklow coast.

Volunteer lifeboat crews from Arklow and Wicklow RNLI stations were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboats at 3.46pm yesterday following a Mayday relay broadcast.

boat The trawler on fire, filmed by the Irish Coast Guard Source: Screengrab from RTÉ/Irish Coast Guard

The crew of the 14-metre trawler used an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) to raise the alarm.

Both lifeboats launched immediately while the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 from Waterford was also involved, as well as multiple vessels in the area which responded.

The three fishermen evacuated the trawler via their life raft and transferred to a nearby vessel.


Once on the scene, about 48km east of Arklow, the crew onboard Arklow RNLI’s lifeboat crew transferred two of the casualties to the lifeboat and administered casualty care.

The third fisherman was airlifted by helicopter Rescue 117 and brought to University Hospital Waterford for further observation.

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The Wicklow and Arklow RNLI crews stood by as a tugboat with firefighting capabilities made efforts to extinguish the fire on the trawler, but the vessel later sank.

The two men were brought to the Arklow RNLI station where they were made comfortable.

Speaking following the rescue, Arklow RNLI Coxswain Ned Dillon said: “Thankfully, all three fishermen were rescued this evening and we would like to wish them all a speedy recovery following what must have been a frightening experience for them.

We would like to commend the skipper and his crew for doing the right thing and activating the EPIRB when they knew they were in difficulty, that was the right thing to do.

Dillon also thanked the crew of the vessels that were in the area and responded alongside the RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard.

“It is always sad to see a fishing vessel sink but we are happy that all three fishermen are safe and recovering from their ordeal this evening,” he added.

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Órla Ryan

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