PSV Saves Four From Burning Fishing Vessel


Published May 16, 2021 5:55 PM by The Maritime Executive

The volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew based in Courtmacsherry, Ireland was called out at 0145 hours Friday morning to help a fishing vessel that had caught fire about 20 miles southeast of Old Head, West Cork. 

The lifeboat Frederick Storey Cockburn and her crew departed within 12 minutes of notification. The Irish Coast Guard's Valentia Marine Rescue Coordination Centre also relayed the fishing vessel's mayday call to nearby good samaritan vessels, and it dispatched a rescue helicopter out of Waterford to assist. 

Within minutes of the mayday call, the four-man crew of the fishing vessel had to abandon ship to their liferaft, and the fire swiftly engulfed their boat. With good samaritans rushing to their aid, the survivors did not have to wait long: the PSV VOS Pathfinder, which was operating at the nearby Kinsale gas field, deployed its own fast rescue boat to the scene and quickly located the lifeboat. The Pathfinder's crew immediately took all four fishermen from the liferaft safely on board, with no injuries reported.

When the Courtmacsherry lifeboat and the Rescue 117 helicopter arrived on scene, all four casualties were transferred to lifeboat for transport back to shore. Meanwhile, another OSV used its fire monitors to bring the blaze on the fishing vessel under control. However, the boat had sustained severe damage in the fire, and it ultimately sank at about 0700 hours Saturday morning, according to Courtmacsherry RNLI. 

The RNLI is an all-volunteer search and rescue service which has been saving mariners off the UK and Ireland for nearly 200 years. It works in close cooperation with the UK Coastguard and the Irish Coast Guard, and it provides the surface assets for most SAR operations in the British Isles.