Wednesday 6th February
A break in the weather enabled some progress to be made in the salvage operations at Dingle today. In clear calm sunny conditions this morning, divers went on board the Celestial Dawn, lying on her side on the rocks by Dingle lighthouse after being holed by the bow on Saturday night. It is believed that they found more extensive damage than had been expected and were able to draw up diagrams of this. A second inspection this afternoon confirmed that the open air vents to the two undamaged fuel tanks are allowing seawater to slosh in and small amount of fuel/water mixture to slosh out, which accounts for the continuing minor amounts of diesel fumes apparent near the wreck site.
The Coastguards’ Marine Pollution team has also deployed additional absorbent booms around the stricken trawler. While this was going on a JCB was digging trenches on the cliff top so that girders could be buried in the ground to provide an anchorage point for securing the trawler with hawsers. Hopefully this can be completed before the next band of storms comes in off the Atlantic tomorrow. Although there has been no evident impact on marine or bird life so far, if the boat were to break up in situ there could still be a very sudden and damaging release of oil into the sea.
The water at Sláidín beach and in the channel was clean today and despite the cold a couple of hardy swimmers went in with the guillemots and cormorants. The dolphin only came to say hello briefly, but that was not surprising considering all the boats around. Otherwise he was fishing as normal at low tide in the channel narrows.
Graham Timmins email@example.com