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I was following the story of a major search underway for the crew of a Wexford fishing vessel that sank off the south-east coast yesterday. The Pierre Charles, which was based in Dunmore East, sank in heavy seas three miles from Hook Head at around 6pm. The vessel had five men on board, four from Kerry and Wexford and one from eastern Europe. Two lifeboats and two coastguard helicopters were sent to the area after a distress signal was picked up yesterday evening, but they found no trace of the missing crew.

It sounds very ominous for those fisherman and I just wanted to step away from the political issues for a moment and reflect on the courage of those who go to sea for their living. I could not possibly do it, and yet day in day out, many brave folk head off into stormy seas in search of their daily bread. I have nothing but admiration for them and am so sorry for their families when they face terrible waits like that facing those whose relatives were on board this vessel. 

"O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word
Who walked’st on the foaming deep
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep.
Oh hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea."

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8 thoughts on “FOR THOSE IN PERIL…..

  1. From the smallest of vessels in the fishing industry to the largest ocean-going ships afloat, the one constant is the Sea!

    There are few amongst us who know the truth behind that phrase, "for those in peril on the sea." and I, for one, echo David’s sentiments, as well as also remembering the volunteers from the http://www.rnli.org.uk/ who risk their lives in the cause of saving lives at sea!

  2. Agreed David.

    The last year or two has had some awful tragedies, especially off the Co. Down coast.

    I was up in Greencastle, Co. Donegal about a year ago and happened on the memorial for those lost at sea off that small port. A very poignant reminder.

  3. Mike,

    The sea is fascinating. I have a property that overlooks the sea and I have some wonderful views of all sorts of vessels ploughing their way through it. The sea is both beautiful and frightening – such power and majesty, dwarfing our human efforts. I think that the RNLI do a fantastic job and deserve every penny they get. It is one charity I give to without any qualms – no money can pay those men and women who brave mountainous seas to rescue those in peril. God bless them all. At this time of the year, when storms cross our waters, I often think of what it must be like to go out in such churning waters, shiver, have a reassuring glass of whiskey on terre firma, and am grateful others more brave than me do it.

  4. David: The sea has always fascinated me. As a small child I was mesmerized by a seamans’ memorial at the rugged seaport of Gloucester, MA for "They that Go Down to the Sea in Ships". It was built for the old fisherman’s trade that took off from there and quotes from the Old Testament (Book of Psalms):

    "They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They rell to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they gald because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven."

    Quite a passage. Despite being a Catholic, I prefer the style of the King James Version above (I think the modern Catholic version reads somethinglike "Men in boats get scared on the water and God makes it all good").

    Incidently while I am rambling, did you know that even in the not too distant past fisherman of the coast you posted above would wear sweaters that had a distinct stich so they could be identified if they fell overboard and drowned? A somber fact for all the Aran sweaters you seen worn by landlubbers like myself.

  5. Sadly, there is another report tonight of a second trawler missing off the South Coast, from Kinsale Port.

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