Dun Laoghaire RNLI rescued six fishermen in challenging weather conditions this morning after a 25m trawler was disabled off the coast of Dublin.
The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 2.50am following a request by the Irish Coast Guard that a 25m Beam trawler with six on board was in difficulty outside the Kish Bank. The crew had been fishing for scallop when a rope got caught in the vessel's propeller.
The lifeboat under Duty Coxswain David Branigan and with six crew members on board, launched shortly after 3am and made its way to the scene some 12 nautical miles south east of Howth Harbour.
In the darkness, the lifeboat crew were met by difficult weather conditions including a Force 9 strong gale and three to four metres waves.
The crew arrived on scene shortly before 4am where they assessed the situation and checked that the casualty's crew were safe. With no one in immediate danger, the lifeboat crew started working with the fishermen to set up a tow.
The high winds, poor visibility and difficult sea conditions made this task challenging and numerous attempts were made before a towline was successfully established.
In winds gusting up to 50 knots, the lifeboat began the long passage towards Howth Harbour. Despite a slow speed of two to three knots, the towline parted on three occasions along the passage.
Due to the winds and the size of the casualty vessel, Howth RNLI was requested to launch at 9.40am to provide assistance with bringing the vessel into the harbour.
The trawler and her crew were safely returned to shore at 10.40am.
Speaking following the call out, David Branigan, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Duty Coxswain said: 'Our lifeboat crew deserve full credit for their efforts in the early hours of this morning which have seen us spend some eight hours at sea. We launched in the darkness and were met by difficult weather. The high winds and rough seas made this call out particularly challenging especially when establishing and keeping a tow but we persevered and thankfully were able to return the fishermen and their vessel safely to shore.'