TWO FISHERMEN were rescued off the Wexford coast early Sunday morning when the vessel they were working on burst into flames and hours later sank.
The incident happened around 7.42 a.m. Sunday morning around four miles south of Hook Head.
The alarm was raised by another fishing vessel which was in the area at the time. The Coastguard Marine Rescue Coordination Centre in Dublin was notified that the MVF Kingfisher was on fire and the two fishermen on board had taken to a life raft.
The Coastguard immediately tasked the Dunmore East Lifeboat and the Waterford based Coastguard Helicopter to respond.
The two crew were picked up by the MVF Defiant, another fishing vessel that was in the area, and were landed safely ashore at 9.47 a.m. Neither of the fishermen were injured and they were not in the water at any time during the ordeal.
When the lifeboat arrived at the scene, the MVF Kingfisher's wheelhouse was engulfed in flames. The crew onboard the lifeboat fought the fire for over an hour in an effort to try extinguish the blaze but the fire had also spread below deck, making it inaccessible to the emergency services.
At 10 a.m. the lifeboat was stood down as fears grew over the possibility of the gas cylinders on board exploding.
Shortly after, at 12.11 p.m., the 11 meter MVF Kingfisher fishing vessel had sunk.