The general cargo vessel Abuk Lion (2008/5,599gt), on a voyage from Aughinish alumina plant on the river Shannon to St Petersburg, suffered engine trouble off the south west coast of Ireland. She departed the Shannon on 26 December 2013 but, after engine failure, began drifting eastwards, so the captain asked for tug assistance at about 1500 on 28 December 2013.

The tug Celtic isle, which is based in Foynes, was in Cork over Christmas and was deployed to tow the stricken freighter. Celtic isle reached the ship at 0300 on 29 December, finding her 30 nautical miles south of the Old Head of Kinsale in gale force eight winds.

At first light a tow was secured to Abuk Lion. LE Roisin arrived on scene, along with the Coastguard helicopter from Shannon, but the 13 crew were safe and well despite battling heavy swells. The tow line parted once, but was reconnected, and Abuk Lion reached Cork about 2000 and was anchored before being brought in.


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