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Saturday 17 March 2018

Boat towed to safety after engine failure

The Abuk Lion (left) under tow by the tug boat Celtic Isle off Kinsale Head
The Abuk Lion (left) under tow by the tug boat Celtic Isle off Kinsale Head
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A FREIGHTER was safely towed to port in Cork after the Irish Coast Guard and a tug raced to its aid when its engine failed in a severe storm off the south-west coast.

The 108-metre freighter, Abuk Lion, issued a mayday alert shortly after 3pm on Sunday when its main engine failed.

Due to the severity of the gale off the south-west coast, the freighter was unable to drop anchor and ride out the storm.

The ship, which is registered in Bermuda, was left drifting in waves of five metres-plus, and winds gusting to storm force nine off the west Cork coast.

The vessel was almost 35 nautical miles off Clonakilty when the crisis emerged and an Irish Coast Guard helicopter sped to the scene.

None of the 13-strong crew were injured and Irish Coast Guard officials assessed that there was sufficient time for the Celtic Isle tug to reach the scene.

The freighter is expected to remain in port for several days while the repairs are completed and the engine is inspected.

Met Eireann said that difficult sea conditions off the Irish coast are expected to significantly ease over the next 24 hours.

Irish Independent

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