The crew of the 60ft vessel, Horizon, which fishes out of Union Hall, raised the alarm around 5.46pm yesterday, when their vessel began taking on water about 30km off the Seven Heads coastline in West Cork.
The Courtmacsherry RNLI all-weather lifeboat and the Waterford- based Irish Coast Guard helicopter were tasked to respond to the mayday alert.
RNLI coxswain Sean O’Farrell and a crew of five launched immediately and despite poor conditions and bad visibility, they reached the stricken vessel at at 6.40pm.
The fishermen were struggling to keep their vessel afloat as it began taking on vast quantities of water following an apparent mechanical failure on board.
The lifeboat crew, and the Irish Naval vessel, the LÉ Niamh, managed to transfer pumps on board the sinking vessel, and with the help of the RNLI’s mechanic who also transferred onto the trawler, they managed to stem the intake of water into the fishing boat.
The lifeboat took the stricken vessel in tow and made for Union Hall, at low speed, while monitoring the intake of water on the fishing boat.
It was midnight before they arrived safely.
Conditions at sea were very poor, with strong winds measuring force 6/7, with heavy swells in the area.
The visibility was very poor with low lying fog.