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.

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.

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.

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