An investigation has concluded that a trawler sank suddenly after being pounded and inundated by violent waves off the County Waterford coast.

Two crew members died and two others survived when the ‘Honeydew II’ went down in stormy seas 3 miles south of Ram Head on the morning of January 11 2007.

The tragedy happened within hours of the Dunmore-based ‘Pére Charles’ sinking in neighbouring fishing grounds with the loss of five lives.

None of the bodies of the seven men claimed between both tragedies have ever been recovered.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) said it was “extraordinary” there were any survivors from the ‘Honeydew II’ given the treacherous weather and the speed with which the events unfolded.

The Kinsale trawler had been secured to ride out the weather when at around 3am it suffered a major wave impact; this caused a sudden ingress of water resulting in rapid and catastrophic loss of stability.

The boat capsized and sank stern-first in a matter of minutes. Three crew members abandoned the vessel; of these two managed to board a life raft and were rescued, remarkably, over 15 hours later. No distress call or emergency position beacon signal was received.

See The Munster Express newspaper for full story