The Ballyglass RNLI lifeboat had an unusual vessel to deal with on the evening of May 14.
She was launched to recover a large barge that had broken away from the ship she was on in Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada, last November and then drifted across the North Atlantic.
The barge Malik I, owned by the shipping company Groupe Desgagnes, of Quebec, was being used to transport food and other supplies to remote communities and mining companies in the Arctic and she was on the deck of a ship on her way back to Montreal. In heavy seas on Nov 5, the barge broke her moorings and slipped into the sea. An aircraft searched for the barge, but was unable to find her.
Nothing more was heard of the Malik I until she was spotted in mid-May floating off Co Mayo in Ireland by a fishing vessel which reported her to the Coast Guard. The 2012-built steel barge, which was 26m long and 16m in beam, had drifted more than 3,080kms.
The Ballyglass lifeboat was launched at around 1920 and, on arrival, put a crewman on board and found that she was clean and safe.
The lifeboat established a tow and took the barge to Ballyglass harbour, but she was too big to enable her to berth safely so she was temporarily put on the lifeboat mooring. The operation had taken seven hours.