Irish Coast Guard rescues crew from grounded French fishing trawler.

Irish Coast Guard Airlifts Crew from Grounded Trawler
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On June 2, a French-registered fishing vessel got stuck on rocks near Dursey Island at the end of the Beara Peninsula. The Coast Guard reported that the difficult situation was dealt with, as they airlifted nine crew members to safety and then managed to pull the vessel from the rocks without significant hull damage. A Coast Guard helicopter was the first to arrive, joined by an RNLI lifeboat from Castletownbere and the RCC Valentia from the Coast Guard. RNLI reports confirmed that vessel was “listing and rocking back and forth” and there were concerns for the safety of the crew.

Due to the angle and rocking motion, the culminating concern was that the vessel would roll further over. As a result, among the nine non-essential crew members were taken aboard the helicopter and transferred to shore. The vessel, the Grand Saint Bernard, was a steel-hulled ship that had departed the port of Castletownbere on the west coast of Ireland. The vessel had offloaded its catch in Ireland, refueled and headed back out to fish. Coast Guard officials were concerned over a possible diesel leak because the ship was reported to have full tanks.

The master of the Grand Saint Bernard, along with the engineer and a mate, chose to remain aboard the vessel. With the help of the lifeboat and three tugboats, they were able to refloat the vessel approximately three hours later at high tide. While there were no leaks or significant hull damage reported, the lifeboat did indicate that the trawler had lost steering approximately 100 meters from shore. The boat was towed into the port of Castletownbere and will undergo further inspections.

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