Trawler at center of major rescue operation sinks hours after crew has been winched to safety
A trawler at the center of a major rescue operation sank hours after its crew were brought to safety by an Irish Coast Guard helicopter in rough seas off the west coast of Cork.
The 25 meter Ellie Adhamh, which was abandoned by her skipper and crew on Saturday around 7pm when they were airlifted to safety by Rescue 117, sank around noon today (Sunday).
The boat, built in 2004 and registered in Wexford, sank in about 80 meters of water, just over two miles north of Bull Rock at the entrance to Kenmare Bay.
The owners of the Ellie Adhamh had hired a local tugboat, the Nomad, and she was on hand all morning assessing options for how to tow the ship to safety after an overnight drifting unmanned.
A second local tug was also on the scene to assist, but it was evident from early in the morning that the condition of the vessel was deteriorating as it continued to embark on board in rough seas.
According to the Irish Coast Guard’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Valentia, Force 7 winds approaching the gale force at 28-33 knots were throwing swells of seven meters which submerged the boat.
A spokesperson for the Irish Coast Guard expressed relief that the seven crew members were safely evacuated in extremely difficult conditions on Saturday evening and that there was no loss of life.
And they recognized the professionalism of everyone involved, including LE George Bernard Shaw, Castletownbere RNLI, Coast Guard helicopter crews, owners and their representatives.
The crew, made up of Irish, Polish and Egyptian fishermen, were all brought by Rescue 117 to Cork Airport on Saturday where they were assessed by HSE paramedics.
It is understood that a crew member was taken to Cork University Hospital for medical treatment following the ordeal, which began when Ellie Adhamh lost power early on Friday morning.
Defense Forces confirmed that LE George Bernard Shaw was released from the operation on Saturday evening and returned to maritime defense and security operations.