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Rescue operation Crew of seven may have to be airlifted from stricken trawler off Cork coast

The west Cork-based trawler, which is understood to have a crew of seven, raised the alarm after it lost engine power some 100km off the south west coast on Friday morning.

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The Coast Guard, RNLI and Naval Service are coordinating over the rescue of a stricken Irish trawler when a tug which had gone to its aid had to return to port after it was struck by a giant wave.

The west Cork-based trawler, which is understood to have a crew of seven, raised the alarm after it lost engine power some 100km off the south west coast on Friday morning.

All attempts to restart its engine failed.

A number of other trawlers attempted to assist the vessel but tow lines kept breaking in very heavy sea conditions.

The decision was made to dispatch a tug from Castletownbere to assist the trawler back to port.

However, the tug was struck by a giant wave some 30km offshore which shattered its wheelhouse windows.

On safety grounds, the tug had to return to port for emergency repairs.

A Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched to the area to standby as a precautionary measure while a Naval Service vessel is diverting from fishery patrol duties to aid the trawler.

If conditions worsen, emergency services may consider an airlift of the crew from the trawler.

A number of fishing vessels have remained in the area to support the stricken boat.

It is hoped the navy vessel will be able to take the trawler under tow pending the arrival of a specialist tug.

Sea conditions are described as very challenging offshore.

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