Monday 21 October 2019

Engine failure puts crew of three at risk

RNLI heroes rush to notorious sandbanks

Niamh O'Connor

Arklow RNLI assisted a vessel in distress which was drifting perilously close to the Arklow sandbanks last week.

The volunteer crew sprung into action when the Irish Coast Guard sent a launch request at 3.20 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2. Within minutes, they were aboard RNLB Ger Tigchlearr and heading to the reported position approximately nine miles south east of Arklow and close to the notorious offshore sandbanks.

The casualty vessel had reported engine failure and that she was adrift and unable to anchor.

While the lifeboat was en route, another crew of Arklow RNLI coxswains and crew members, who were at work aboard a wind turbine transfer and maintenance vessel, heard the request for assistance on the VHF radio. The work vessel was closer to the stricken vessel, which was by now approximately half a mile from the sandbanks and in real danger of being wrecked on the bank in the prevailing westerly wind and moderate sea conditions.

Following a consultation with the lifeboat coxswain, the workboat crew were able to get a line safely aboard the stricken vessel and rendered assistance by towing the casualty vessel away from the sandbanks for a time.As this was in progress the lifeboat arrived on scene. The crew then set up a tow line and were able to bring the casualty vessel back home to Arklow and the three aboard safely ashore in Arklow Harbour.

Following the incident, Mark Corcoran, Community Safety Officer at Arklow RNLI, said: 'Thanks to the quick thinking and actions of our volunteers who were at work on the wind turbine vessel, Arklow Lifeboat was in the happy postion to tow this fishing vessel and her crew of three persons to safety. Had they not been at sea today, this incident may well not have had such a positive outcome.

'We would like to once again remind people to respect the water and always wear a lifejacket and carry a means of calling for help when going out on the water.'

Wicklow People