LATEST: Four people rescued from life raft after fishing vessel caught fire off coast of Cork 

LATEST: Four people rescued from life raft after fishing vessel caught fire off coast of Cork 

Shortly before 2am Valentia Coast Guard were alerted to a fire onboard Irish fishing vessel 'Horizon'

Latest: Four people have been rescued following a multi-agency response to a mayday off the coast of Kinsale early on Friday morning.

A crew of four people was on board a fishing vessel when it caught fire approximately 17 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale.

Valentia Coast Guard was alerted to a fire onboard the ‘Horizon’ fishing vessel shortly before 2am.

A full-scale search and rescue operation was mounted and Courtmacsherry All-Weather Lifeboat and the Waterford-based Coast Guard helicopter (R117) were tasked to the scene.

Other fishing and commercial vessels operating in the area also responded, including the Naval ship LÉ George Bernard Shaw.

LÉ George Bernard Shaw (P64) has responded to a mayday in the vicinity of Kinsale this morning. Photo: Irish Naval Service/Facebook.
LÉ George Bernard Shaw (P64) has responded to a mayday in the vicinity of Kinsale this morning. Photo: Irish Naval Service/Facebook.

The four-person crew successfully abandoned the vessel after the fire outbreak and were recovered from their life raft by the Offshore Supply Ship Pathfinder that had been operating at the Kinsale Head gas field.

The crew were subsequently transferred to the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat with no reports of any injuries and are reported to be in good spirits.

Conditions at the time were favourable with light winds and a moderate sea but despite efforts to fight the fire, the vessel sank close to the position where it initially caught fire after another vessel on the scene, the Maersk Maker, attempted to extinguish the flames.

The wreck was monitored by the Coast Guard helicopter and LÉ George Bernard Shaw and the vessel was reported to have sunk shortly before 7am.

The Coast Guard has extended its thanks to all on scene respondents for their timely and professional support and expressed relief that no serious injuries were incurred in what was potentially a very serious situation.

The Naval ship LE George Bernard Shaw was also involved in the rescue
The Naval ship LE George Bernard Shaw was also involved in the rescue

Earlier - 9.51am: The Irish Naval Service’s LÉ George Bernard Shaw (P64) has responded to a mayday off the coast of Kinsale early this morning.

The P64, along with the Coast Guard’s Rescue 117, Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat, MV VOS Pathfinder and MV Maersk Maker responded when a fishing vessel caught fire.

The multi-agency response was coordinated by the Irish Coast Guard in Valentia and resulted in the safe removal of the four people who were onboard the vessel.

They were brought to the safety of the Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat via life raft and the fire was extinguished.

P64 remains on scene and will assess the damage to the fishing vessel this morning.

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