Eleven rescued after abandoning sinking fishing boat

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A fishing boat that lost power and caught fire off the west coast of Cork this morning sank after its 11 crew abandoned the boat.

The Valentia Coastguard coordinated an air and sea rescue after being alerted that the fishing vessel Piedras was taking on water shortly after 9am this morning.

The Shannon-based Coast Guard R115 helicopter was immediately dispatched to the area about 60 miles southwest of Mizen Head.

Air Corps Maritime Patrol Aircraft and LÉ Samuel Beckett also took part in the operation while a second Coast Guard R116 helicopter was put on standby at Cork Airport.

The Piedras (Photo: Irish Coastguard)

Shortly after raising the alarm, the crew of eleven abandoned the boat and boarded another fishing vessel, the FV Armaven.

Valentia Coast Guard Divisional Comptroller John Draper said none of the rescued crew members were injured and they were in good spirits.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime, Mr Draper said they were currently en route to Castletownbere and expected to arrive around 9pm this evening.

The ship sank in about 550 meters of water, he said, adding that it “wouldn’t be viable or practical” to do anything with it.

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