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narrow escape Dramatic scenes as RNLI rescue two men from sinking trawler in Galway

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RNLI rescue trawler. Pic credit: Facebook

RNLI rescue trawler. Pic credit: Facebook

RNLI rescue trawler. Pic credit: Facebook

Two trawler men had a narrow escape earlier today when their sinking fishing boat was saved from going under by the quick thinking actions of Clifden’s RNLI crews.

The ten metre trawler was on passage to Clare when it began taking on water and the crew raised the alarm.

Both lifeboats at Clifden RNLI were launched this morning just before 11am and rushed to the scene.

While wind conditions did not pose a major obstacle there was a very large swell on the scene and large tanker vessel nearby that created a challenge to operations.

“When the lifeboats arrived on scene there was a large tanker vessel providing the casualty vessel with some shelter from the seven to eight metre seas,” All weather lifeboat coxswain James Mullen explained.

“The Atlantic 85 helm Joe Acton immediately transferred the two crew aboard and with a salvage pump began pumping out the vessel. Once the water level dropped low enough for the vessel to use their own engine power we headed back to shore.”

However, the drama did not end there.

On the way back to Clifden the boat started to take on more water than the two pumps could handle. A larger salvage pump was transferred from the Shannon class lifeboat to the trawler by crew member Chris Nee on the inshore lifeboat.

Eventually with both lifeboat pumps working flat out and aided by the vessel’s own bilge pump, the flow of water was stemmed and the boat was escorted safely back to Clifden.

“Both helicopters Rescue 117 and 118 were also on scene and we are glad to have been able to bring the casualties and the vessel safely back to shore,” Mullen added.

Clifden RNLI Deputy Launching Authority John Roberts said: “The crew did extremely well today in a very large swell to carry out this rescue and without their assistance this vessel was in serious danger of sinking. Well done to all involved.”

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