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Rescued fishermen ‘shook up’ after trawler sinks in Atlantic

Two fishermen are said to be shaken but doing fine after being rescued from a life raft in the Atlantic after their trawler began sinking.

The Spanish skipper, who has lived in Ireland for more than a decade, and his crew man from Crosshaven, Co Cork, were plucked to safety about an hour after raising the alarm.

Valentia Coast Guard was alerted and Castletownbere RNLI said its volunteers received a call to rescue the crew at about 4.45am on Thursday.

Th e inshore trawler Nepro was sinking about 10 miles (16km) south-west of Dursey Island, off the Beara peninsula.

Paul Stevens, of Castletownbere RNLI, said: “Fortunately the weather conditions were favourable early this morning and we were able to quickly transfer the two fishermen into the safety of the lifeboat. Both are safe and well.

“They did the right thing this morning and raised the alarm when they got into difficulty.”

The lifeboat picked the men up at about 5.50am and the vessel was still sinking.

It is understood the engine on the trawler stopped working and, when the crew checked it, the engine room was flooding and the pumps were not working correctly.

The skipper of the Nepro normally only fishes in inshore waters during the summer months.

John Nolan, manager of the Castletownbere Fisherman’s Co-op of which the boat is a member, said he believed the men were fine after their ordeal.

“Thank God there was no loss of life. You’d live with the rest of the loss,” he said.

“The skipper is a bit shook up all right but you couldn’t praise the rescue services enough – the lifeboat alongside within an hour and the helicopter overhead.”

The Navy ship the LE Orla was also tasked in the rescue along with the Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 based out of Shannon.

Weather during the rescue was good, with a force three to four wind and good visibility, the RNLI said.

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The rescue took place as the RNLI said an average of 23 people die each year around the coast through accidental drowning.

It said its R espect The Water campaign is about preventing deaths, particularly among men aged 16-39, and raising awareness of the dangers by encouraging safer behaviour both in and around the water.


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