Date Published : December 30th, 2013 Published By : adminA stricken bulk carrier and its crew of 13 on board is being towed to shore after drifting without power in stormy seas off the Cork coast since yesterday.
The Irish Coast Guard sent the Celtic Isle tug to tow the 108 metre long Abuk Lion this morning. The bulk carrier, Abuk Lion was 24km off the Old Head of Kinsale after drifting almost 32km towards shore overnight.
The alarm was raised at approximately 3pm yesterday. The Irish Naval ship, LE Róisín is also at the scene and standing by to assist in escorting the Abuk Lion to shore while an Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter, Rescue 117 is also on standby at Waterford Airport in the event of a rescue and recovery operation.
The vessel was en route from the Shannon Estuary to St Petersburg in Russia with 7,500 tonnes of bauxite when the engines failed off the West Cork coast yesterday afternoon. The Celtic Isle tug arrived on scene about 1am this morning but conditions were judged to be too dangerous to try and get a tow on board the bulk carrier with gale force winds and six to eight metres swell.
The Irish Naval vessel Ship, the LE Róisín has taken up station 30 nautical miles off the Old Head of Kinsale and is standing by to assist and escort the merchant vessel following a request from the Coast Guard while an Irish Coast Guard Sikorski helicopter, Rescue 117 also remains on standby at Waterford Airport in case it is needed in the rescue and recovery operation.
The Defence Forces has described conditions in the area as ‘challenging’, however it s not thought the vessel is in any immediate danger.
Pic: Irish Defence Forces