A STRICKEN fishing vessel whose seven crew members had to be airlifted to safety has sank despite the best efforts of a major rescue operation.
The Ellie Adhamh sank more than two miles north of the Bull Rock off the coast of the Beara Peninsula.
Valentia Coast Guard, who coordinated the operation, monitored the vessel's situation overnight as it drifted in a northerly direction. A local tug hired by the owners was at the scene in the hope that the vessel could be towed to safety.
A second local tug was also deployed. However, it was feared from early on that the battle would be lost.
Naval Service pictures show weather conditions during the trawler emergency. Bear in mind also that Irish fishermen go to sea and work to catch fish for our seafood in such conditions #fishing https://t.co/ix2BYujz1e— Tom MacSweeney (@TomMacSweeney) March 28, 2021
Initial attempts to save the vessel with the crew on board were unsuccessful after the alarm was raised at around 7am on Friday.
Wexford-registered, Ellie Adhamh, had lost power before drifting off West Cork.
The major rescue operation was coordinated by the Coast Guard Rescue Coordination centre at Valentia, who initially tasked a Coast Guard Helicopter to the scene.
A tug was deployed in attempts overseen by Valentia Coastguard. However, efforts were hampered by a wave that shattered three windows in the vessel's wheelhouse.
All seven crew members eventually had to be airlifted to safety.
A Coast Guard spokesperson expressed relief that there was no loss of life and acknowledged the professionalism of all who had been involved in the operation, including Naval Service ship LE George Bernard Shaw, Castletownbere RNLI, Coast Guard Helicopter crews, owners and their representatives.