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Dunmore East RNLI volunteer crew leads multi-agency rescue of 3 fishermen

The Dunmore East RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew successfully coordinated a multi-agency rescue operation yesterday morning (25 November) for a fishing vessel in distress.

The 12m vessel, with 3 persons on board, was got into difficulty less than 0.5 nautical miles west of Dunmore East Harbour. It was reported to be taking on a significant amount of water when the RNLI crew was tasked by the Irish Coast Guard at 07.33am.

RNLI volunteers responded to a pager alert and the all-weather lifeboat, William and Agnes Wray was launched and quickly located the vessel. Having assessed the situation, a salvage pump was deployed, and an RNLI volunteer was transferred to the vessel to manage the water ingress effectively. A decision was then made to tow the vessel to Dunmore East Harbour with escort support from other vessels from the local fishing community.

A comprehensive response effort was waiting at the harbour, involving the Irish Coast Guard, including the Rescue 117 helicopter and Dunmore East Fire Service. This joint operation played a pivotal role in the successful outcome of the incident.

Liz Power, volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager at Dunmore East RNLI, commended the collective effort: ‘This rescue operation showcased exceptional collaboration between the RNLI, Irish Coast Guard, Fire Service, and the local fishing community. The response to the Mayday call by nearby fishing vessels was a key factor in the success of this operation. Their immediate assistance played a crucial role in the safety and support of the incident.’

This event highlights the critical importance of coordinated responses in maritime emergencies and serves as a reminder of the necessity for regular safety checks and preparedness on all sea-going vessels.

The RNLI emphasises the importance of always being prepared at sea. Mariners are reminded to ensure that their vessels are seaworthy, safety equipment is up to date and functional, and that they carry a VHF radio to call for help in case of an emergency.