Close submarine encounter for fishing boat off Tory Island

Submarine off Tory Island Please credit Colm O Brien

A Donegal fisherman has described how his fishing boat came within 200 yards of a submarine last week off Tory Island.

Speaking this morning on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Seán Ó Briain , from Machaire Rabhartaigh, said that they were setting crab pots 14 miles northwest of Tory Island last Thursday when they saw the submarine coming towards them, and pass just in front of them.

“Last Thursday about 11 am we were setting crab pots when we saw the submarine coming from the northwest. It went round in front of us, about 200 yards away.


“We were doing a speed of about 7 miles, and although the general rule is that when a boat is setting pots or pulling pots, that other vessels are supposed to give us right of way, but not in this case, we needed to slow down to let the submarine pass.’

Yesterday, Britain’s Ministry of Defence admitted that a Royal Navy submarine was responsible for dragging a trawler backwards off the Northern Ireland coast earlier this year.
Seán Ó Briain said that they had spotted a submarine around this time last year as well, and that on that occasion they also needed to slow down to avoid it. He said that they were lucky because they had daylight on both occasions and that they could see the submarine and change course to avoid it.


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