Members of Rosslare RNLI were involved in a dramatic early morning callout on Sunday, when three fisherman were brought aboard a lifeboat just minutes before their vessel capsized and sank.

The crew from Rosslare Harbour launched at 5.20am following a distress call from the 23-metre Irish fishing vessel Choimh Ula, which was taking on water two-and-a-half miles off Carnsore point. The vessel was rolling violently when the lifeboat arrived on scene and the three fishermen boarded their own life raft, which had been deployed earlier. The life raft was then towed clear of the boat before the men could be taken safely onboard the Rosslare lifeboat. Moments after this occurred the fishing vessel sank.

The crew of the fishing vessel had a lucky escape, according to Rosslare RNLI Deputy Lifeboat Authority Dave Maloney. “The lifeboat was on scene very quickly and wasted no time in getting them to safety. While weather conditions were moderate the fishing vessel was rolling violently and therefore the lifeboat crew had to act swiftly to ensure the safety of the men. By using the life raft and towing it clear of the vessel we were able to ensure that the crew were safely taken aboard the Rosslare lifeboat moments before the vessel sank.”

The lifeboat returned to Rosslare Harbour at 6.30am with the unhurt crew from the fishing vessel. The men were from Castletownbere, Co Cork, Valentia in Co Kerry and Poland.