Three men are dead and a fourth has been injured after a boat went on fire and sank off the West Cork coast this evening. It happened in waters south of Roundcarrig Lighthouse off Adrigole Harbour, Bantry Bay. It is understood a serious fire broke out on the 25-foot cruiser. The RNLI lifeboat went to the cruiser's rescue at 5.45pm. There is no information currently about the type of cruiser involved.
Photo: courtesy of Castletownbere lifeboat
A Coast Guard helicopter spotted the men in the water. The boat was on fire and sinking as they arrived.
The bodies of the three victims have been removed to hospital. It is understood all four men, who were in their 60s, were living in the Glengarriff area.
One of the victims is Irish and the other two men are from other European countries. A fourth man, who survived the incident, has also been taken to hospital.
The boat sank a short while later off Roancarrig, about seven miles from the fishing port. Conditions were calm at the time with some light fog in the bay, the spokeswoman said. Officials from the Marine Casualty Investigation Board will carry out an inquiry into the incident.
It is understood investigations will centre on whether an explosion in the engine caused the fire.
Press Release from RNLI:Lifeboat crew with Castletownbere RNLI responded to a callout out this evening (Monday 16 August 2010) to a 25-foot cruiser on fire seven miles off the coast of Castletownbere, off Adrigole Harbour in Bantry Bay. The Shannon based Coast Guard helicopter was on scene and recovered four casualties from the water. Three were pronounced dead and one was taken to Cork University hospital for treatment.
The Castletownbere all weather lifeboat was requested to launch at 17.41 hrs in calm conditions. On arrival at the scene the lifeboat volunteers witnessed the vessel on fire and the CG helicopter was recovering the casualties from the water. The Shannon based helicopter had been out on a callout and was in the area. The lifeboat was designated on scene commander and stayed on scene until the burning cruiser sank.