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Castletownbere & Baltimore RNLI launch to assist fishing vessels during Storm Hannah

Lifeboat crew at Castletownbere RNLI were launched yesterday evening (Friday 26 April) at 6.16pm to assist a 33ft fishing vessel which had lost all power in Bere Haven Harbour in West Cork. The callout came during a severe weather warning as Storm Hannah swept through the country.

The lifeboat crew battled sea conditions reaching force nine to assist the vessel with a crew of two people onboard. The fishing boat had lost all power and was at the mercy of the weather. Once on scene the lifeboat crew quickly took the vessel under tow and brought it safely to shore where the crew could seek shelter.

Photo courtesy RNLI / John Roberts

Commenting on callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Stevens said, ‘Conditions are very challenging off shore this evening and the crew did a great job in bringing everyone home safe. The waves are very high and there are strong winds blowing. We would advise everyone to seek shelter and not attempt to go out during the weather warning.’

Baltimore RNLI was also launched that evening (Friday 26 April) to assist a fishing trawler near Sherkin Island, West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 8.30pm after learning of a local fishing trawler that was dragging its anchor. The 26.2m trawler, which was at anchor under Sherkin to shelter from Storm Hannah, was dragging due to high winds.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat arrived on scene at 8.43pm and transferred four extra crew aboard the trawler. Once they were satisfied that the casualty vessel was back at safe anchor the lifeboat returned to the station in Baltimore, arriving at 9.11pm.

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Kieran Cotter, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Pat Collins, Aidan Bushe, Davey Ryan, Jerry Smith and Kieran Collins. Assisting at the boathouse in Baltimore were Micheal Cottrell, Brian MacSweeney and Rianne Smith. Conditions at sea during the call out were very rough with force 10 winds gusting to force 11, and a 2m sea swell within the harbour.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘With the orange weather warning in place it is advisable not to venture out unnecessarily. Sea conditions will remain rough over the next few days so exercise caution in particular along the coastline. If you get into trouble or see anyone in difficulty at sea or along the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’