Poor conditions have delayed the rescue effort for a cargo ship with 13 people on board that is broken down and drifting off Cork.
The 108 metre-long Abuk Lion was on its way from Aughinish in Clare to Russia when the engines failed.
The Coast Guard last night sent a tug from Cork named the Celtic Isle to tow the huge vessel, which is fully laden with bauxite for aluminium, back to shore.
This is the Celtic Isle which is heading out to the stricken ship. (Taken yesterday). pic.twitter.com/zW6XGLWD4m— Des (@despod) December 29, 2013
The tug reached the vessel shortly before 1am this morning but poor sea conditions, including winds of up to force 8 and swells of 6-8m in height, prevented the tug from taking up the tow.
Tug now on scene. Both vessels experiencing 6m swells and 50knt gusts. IRCG monitoring and R117 on standby here.— Rescue 117 (@R117Waterford) December 30, 2013
The coast guard says the Abuk Lion is not in immediate danger, and it's hoped the rescue will take place later today.
UPDATE 9am: The Valentia coast guard says the Celtic Isle tug has now attached a tow rope to the ship and it's being towed to the Port of Cork.