The Belfast Telegraph reports that the boat, the Cork-registered Dillon Owen, was attempting to enter the harbour to land its herring catch when it quickly lost powe
As the lifeboats proceeded towards Ardglass, the fishing vessel was stuck on the rocks and had begun taking on water. The Dublin-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 was also scrambled to the scene carrying extra pumps.
Following a dynamic risk assessment between the lifeboats and fishing boat skipper, an attempt was made to tow the vessel off the rocks.
But due to worsening weather and tidal conditions, it was decided after numerous attempts by the Newcastle lifeboat coxswain to evacuate the crew of the vessel instead — with Rescue 116 airlifting them to safety upon its arrival.
Speaking after the rescue, Newcastle RNLI coxswain Nathan Leneghan said: “This morning's rescue was a success due to multi-agency teamwork with our colleagues in the Irish Coast Guard, volunteers at Portaferry RNLI and Portaferry and Newcastle coastguard teams. Thankfully this was positive outcome, and all five fishermen are safe and well.”
Kevin Quigley of the NI Fishery Harbour Authority said the fishing vessel remained listing “very badly” at the harbour and further attempts would be made to refloat it.