THE RNLI HAS rescued four fishermen who were left stranded after their fishing vessel caught fire 20 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.
The Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat was called out this morning at 1.45am to help the 60-foot fishing vessel that went on fire while fishing.
Within minutes of the mayday alert being issued, the crew had to abandon the fishing vessel to their liferaft, as the fire had engulfed their boat.
Just after 2.20am, the Offshore Supply boat Pathfinder found the bright orange liferaft, after it deployed its own fast-rescue boat to the scene. It took all four crew from the liferaft on board safely, and while they were well shocked, all were uninjured.
When the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat and the Rescue 117 Helicopter arrived on scene, all four men were then transferred to the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat.
Another Offshore Supply boat used its powerful pumps to get the fire under control, while the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat brought the four fisherman back to Courtmacsherry, arriving shortly after 5am.
Also arriving on scene was the Navy Vessel George Bernard Shaw who continues to monitor the fire damaged boat as it sunk at around 7am.
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RNLI Lifeboat arriving back to Courtmacsherry at dawn this morning with the four rescued on board.
Those rescued were said to be well relieved to be on land again, and thanked the many boats and rescue services involved in this mornings dramatic rescue.
The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat voluntary Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian ODwyer said: We are all so relieved that all four crewmen were rescued so quickly in darkness this morning and praised the fast response of the Kinsale Gas Field Supply Boats who were quickly on scene.
He also thanked the 13 crew at the Lifeboat Station who rose from their beds early this morning and rushed to the station, in order to help others in distress at sea.
The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Crew involved in this mornings callout were Coxswain Sean OFarrell, Mechanic Tadgh McCarthy and crewmembers Dara Gannon, Denis Murphy, Evin OSullivan, Jim O Donnell, and Dean Hennessy.
The RNLI said that the men were “well shocked” after the dramatic rescue this morning.