Fishermen rescued from trawler fire off Wicklow coast

Three fishermen have been rescued after their trawler caught fire off the Co. Wicklow coast today.

Their 14m trawler caught fire 30 miles east of Arklow and subsequently sank.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboats at 3.46pm following a Mayday relay broadcast.

Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 from Waterford was also tasked and multiple vessels in the area responded.

The three casualties had evacuated on to their life raft and had transferred to a nearby vessel.

The lifeboat crew proceeded to transfer two of the casualties to the lifeboat and administer casualty care while a third casualty was airlifted by Rescue 117 and later brought to hospital for further observation.

A tug boat with firefighting capabilities made efforts to put the fire out but the vessel later sank.

"Thankfully, all three fishermen were rescued this evening and we would like to wish them all a speedy recovery following what must have been a frightening experience for them," said Arklow RNLI Coxswain Ned Dillon.

"We would like to commend the skipper and his crew for doing the right thing and activating the emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) when they knew they were in difficulty, that was the right thing to do.

"We would also like to thank and commend the crew of the vessels that were in the area and responded along with ourselves and our colleagues at Wicklow RNLI and in the Irish Coast Guard.

It is always sad to see a fishing vessel sink but we are happy that all three fishermen are safe and recovering from their ordeal this evening.

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