On Monday January 16th, Irish Red Cross Cork area volunteers received a request from the HSE to deploy ambulances and crews to Glandore Harbour/Union Hall Pier to provide first aid cover for volunteers searching for the skipper and crew of the Tit Bonhomme fishing trawler.
The vessel had been making its way home on Sunday through force 6 south-easterly winds when it struck rocks and sank at the mouth of the harbour. The alarm was raised when a crew member dialled 999 and alerted Valentia Coastguards that the ship was in trouble. Five crew members from Ireland and were all missing. A sixth crew member was airlifted to Cork University Hospital.
Within an hour of receiving the call, Irish Red Cross volunteers were on site to give their help and support. John Joe Lyons, Cork Area Irish Red Cross, said “This tragedy is a massive blow to the west Cork area. The local community is to be commended for their rallying support in these dark days. All of the services, An Garda Síochána, HSE, Irish Naval Service, Civil Defense, Irish Coast Guard and the Irish Red Cross have worked together to ensure every hour of search time is utilized.” He added “on behalf the society I would like to thank our crews for their attendance and support. To date176 hours of search time has been covered by Irish Red Cross volunteers.”
Tragically, 19 days into the search, there is only one known survivor. The vessels Skipper and a member of his crew are still missing. The land, sea and air search has been said to be one of the most extensive ever undertaken.
Barry O Donovan, Irish Red Cross volunteer in Cork, said “Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt sympathies are with the families of the five men. The Irish Red Cross will do all it can to support the people of Union Hall at this sad time.”
Written by Barry O’Donovan. Irish Red Cross Cork
With thanks to:
All Irish Red Cross crews involved: Clonakilty, Bandon, Ballinora, Dunmanway, Kinsale, Cork City, Bantry, Midleton, Mallow and Kanturk
John Joe Lyons, Irish Red Cross volunteer and Cork Area Director of Units
Barry O’Donovan, Irish Red Cross volunteer and Cork Area Honorary Secretary
Jonathan Tyner, Irish Red Cross volunteer
For more information or to volunteer with the Irish Red Cross in Cork please see www.corkredcross.ie
Photo: Irish Red Cross volunteers Barry O'Donovan (Bandon) A.A.D.U. and John Joe Lyons (Clonakilty) A.D.U. pictured on the pier in Union Hall, West Cork during the search for the two remaining missing fishermen from the "Tit Bonhomme" which sank on Sunday, January 15th. Photo taken by Jonathan Tyner