The cargo ship ‘Lily B’ lost its power in midst of heavy seas off the southeast coast. It has been towed back to Waterford Port at Belview after it was in danger of hitting the rocks off the Irish coast. Three rescue crafts came to its aid.
The Antigua Barbuda-flagged general cargo ship’s crew raised the alarm around 3 pm Tuesday, after losing its power about two nautical miles from Hook Head, Waterford Harbor, southeast of Ireland.
The cargo vessel had drifted hazardously close to a rocky shore at Hook Head and was taken to Waterford Port under tow by the tug ‘Tramontane’ with the assistance of the tug ‘Bargarth’.
Department of Transport Marine Survey Office personnel will inspect the ship. Fortunately, it is understood that all of the nine crew members are in good health.
When the ship raised alarms, the R117 helicopter based at Waterford Airport and the RNLI boats from Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay, and Rosslare were deployed.
Dunmore East’s Trent, Kilmore’s Tamar, and Rosslare Harbour’s Severn battled 6-meter swells for 12 hours to ensure the cargo vessel remained at sea away from the rocks and secured tow lines to the Lily B said a volunteer of the RNLI organization.
A crew member on board one of three RNLI lifeboats, that had called out to rescue the 4,000-tonne cargo vessel said the conditions on Tuesday afternoon were “absolutely horrific”.
Neville Murphy said that due to high winds and high seas it was extremely difficult to get to the vessel. They had to stop the vessel from ending up on the rocks at Hook Head, while they were waiting for the tug to arrive.
He said the first couple of attempts by his boat and the ‘Kilmore Quay’ to initiate a tow failed. He added commenting on how difficult it was to make communications in the sea conditions. He informed about how the coxswain of their boat was “trying to pass directions to his crew on the deck in the howling wind while the waves are breaking over your head” and they needed a man in the middle to pass directions between them as the noise of the wind and sea was so loud.
He also said that they were out for 12 hours and they did not make it back to Waterford Harbour until 3 am.
Rosslare Harbor RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, David Maloney said “If it wasn’t for the work of the three lifeboat crews out in force eight conditions I fear the vessel would have hit the rocks and there could have been a serious loss of life. The 4,000-tonne vessel came within a half a mile of the shore and Dunmore East and Kilmore Quay lifeboat crews had an incredibly difficult job in keeping it away from the rocks.
The seas were huge, and it would not have been pleasant for anyone out there in those conditions. The lifeboat crews were out for over 12 hours in a callout that involved serious skill and concentration, and I am tremendously proud of all three lifeboat crews involved. Thankfully we did not have a tragedy today.”
Reference: rte.ie | Video Credits: Maritime Reporter TV – YouTube
Marine Insight does not own the rights of the video.