Steering Failure and Grounding

The 'Maire Noire', after suffering damage in a storm 40nm west of Kerry head, has lost steering while entering the Shannon Estuary and has grounded on five fathons rock, 2km south of Corlis Point.

The Shannon-based IRCG helicopter c/s ICG has been tasked to the scene and is reported to have air lifted the 21 crew members to safety.

The 42,000 tonne vessel is carrying a significant amount of bunker oil, some of which is reported to be leaking into the surrounding environment. The area surrounding the incident is a special area of conservation, thus fast response and cleanup efforts will now take precedence. This vessel is said to have a slight list to port.

Clare County Council will lead all shore based cleanup operations in collaboration with the Shannon Estuary Anti Pollution Team (Sea-PT). Overall control of the scene will come from the Irish Coast Guard who will employ water based response efforts. A command centre is being set up to coordinate the response and cleanup efforts.