Posted on December 20, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The Irish-flagged Cargo Vessel, SAOIRSE NA MARA was caught in a severe storm during the evening hours of December the 18th while docked at Galway Port.
At approximately 2000 hours, the Saoirse na Mara managed to break free from its mooring and was thrown up against the rock armour that protects the port, sustaining heavy damages in the process.
Investigations are still underway but initial reports suggest that the adverse weather patterns in the area were to blame for the accident.
Throughout the evening, the wind was reaching speeds of up to 73 knots; the large waves crashing against the quay being the most likely culprit behind the breaking of the mooring lines.
Following the incident, the crew informed the Valentia Coast Guard of what had happened, who then proceeded to rush to the scene.
Thankfully, there were no injuries or signs of pollution as a result of the crash.
Efforts to refloat the vessel were scheduled to begin the following morning at high tide.
The Galway Port Harbourmaster, Captain Sheridan suggests that there was a lack of warning as to the severity of the storm, which directly led to the accident.
With climate change and sea-level rise, we are only going to have more of these events, and we need to be prepared. This inaccuracy of forecasting highlights our lack of ocean literacy and our need to focus on understanding what is actually going on in the ocean. We need to remind ourselves that the planet is 70 per cent water, and the ocean controls so much of our daily lives. Climate change is here and now,” said Captain Sheridan during a statement to the press.