4,000 tonne cargo vessel to be towed to safety today

4,000 tonne cargo vessel to be towed to safety today

The 4,000 tonne cargo ship, the Lily B, lost power off Hook Head yesterday. Picture: RNLI

A Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) operation to assist a 4,000-tonne cargo vessel which lost power off the Wexford coast yesterday, will recommence later this morning.

The vessel is to be brought to Waterford once fog has cleared.

RNLI lifeboat crews from Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay, and Rosslare Harbour launched yesterday Lily Bfollowing reports that the cargo vessel, the  , was in danger of hitting rocks south of Hook Head in Wexford.

The cargo vessel is said to have a crew of nine on board and was carrying coal when it lost power. It subsequently came within a half a nautical mile of colliding with the coastline.

The RNLI received a call for help from the Irish Coast Guard in Dublin at around 3pm yesterday, at which point the lifeboats were sent out. 

A Coast Guard helicopter from Waterford was also dispatched.

The RNLI says its crews had to battle force eight winds, and six-metre high waves to reach the Lily B.

The Lily B came within half a nautical mile of colliding with rocks off the Wexford coast. Picture: RNLI
The Lily B came within half a nautical mile of colliding with rocks off the Wexford coast. Picture: RNLI

The three lifeboat crews safely towed the vessel for some time, before passing it to a larger tug boat at around 5.40pm yesterday.

The Lily B was brought towards Waterford harbour in the early hours of this morning when the lifeboat crews were eventually stood down. 

Waterford Harbour Master Darren Doyle confirmed the final leg of the operation would recommence this morning, once fog has cleared.

Rosslare RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager David Maloney commended the work of the lifeboat crews.

He 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  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 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," he added.

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