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Close encounter

Fishing boat off Donegal coast nearly hit by submarine

The incident happened about 14 miles off Tory Island.

A FISHING BOAT off the coast of Donegal had a close encounter with a submarine last week.

Fisherman Seán Ó Briain has described how his boat came within 200 yards of a submarine off Tory Island.

He told RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta he and others on the boat were setting crab pots 14 miles northwest of Tory Island last Thursday when they saw the submarine coming towards them, and pass just in front of them.

“Last Thursday about 11 am we were setting crab pots when we saw the submarine coming from the northwest. It went round in front of us, about 200 yards away.

We were doing a speed of about seven miles and although the general rule is that when a boat is setting pots or pulling pots other vessels are supposed to give us right of way, but not in this case – we needed to slow down to let the submarine pass.

Yesterday, Britain’s Ministry of Defence admitted that a Royal Navy submarine was responsible for dragging a trawler backwards off the Northern Ireland coast earlier this year.

Ó Briain said that they had spotted a submarine around this time last year as well. On that occasion they also needed to slow down to avoid it.

He said that they were lucky because they had daylight on both occasions and could see the submarine and change course.

Read: Was it Russian? British? Mystery surrounds submarine that ‘dragged’ trawler off Co Down

Read: A nuclear submarine is on fire in Russia, but ‘there’s nothing to worry about’

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