Fishermen airlifted to safety

A HM Coastguard vehicle pictured at City of Derry Airport on Friday as the rescued fishermen were being transfered by ambulance from the airport to Altnagelvin Hospital.
A HM Coastguard vehicle pictured at City of Derry Airport on Friday as the rescued fishermen were being transfered by ambulance from the airport to Altnagelvin Hospital.

Six crew men rescued from a sinking fishing trawler which went down 15 miles off Malin Head on Friday morning were admitted to Derry’s Altnagelvin Hospital after being airlifted to safety.

The crab fishing vessel, the ‘Amy Jane’ ran into difficulty around 9.45am on Friday and the crew sent a Mayday call to the Coastguard saying they were taking water and sinking.

It is understoond the boat had left Greencastle pier late on Thursday evening before running into trouble off the coast of Malin Head on Friday morning. The ship was evacuated and the six crew members took to a life raft in strong winds and sea swells up to four metres.

Joe Joyce from the Buncrana branch of the RNLI said he was relieved the fishermen had been taken to safety.

“It’s good when it turns out like this,” he said. “The men on board are very lucky to be alive as they were facing waves of over 12 foot hitting them from all angles. However there will need to be an investigation now as to why the boat sank so quickly.”

The men were airlifted to City of Derry Airport before being transported by ambulance to Altnagelvin Hospital. The fishermen were all released from hospital on Friday afternoon.

Portrush and Lough Swilly lifeboats assisted the Coastguard team from Belfast and Sligo who co-ordinated the rescue.

Steve Carson, Watch Manager, Belfast Coastguard said the team were pleased about the successful rescue of the six fishermen.

He added: “Sea Survival training which is undertaken by crew of fishing vessels and being properly equipped is a key factor in the rescue of these six men today.”