Jim Sheridan is to write and direct The Great Storm, the story of the 1979 Fastnet Yacht Race tragedy off the south coast of Ireland in which 18 people lost their lives.

IFTN reports that the film will be based on survivor Nick Ward's book Left for Dead, which he co-wrote with filmmaker Sinéad O'Brien.

Ward was a crewmember on the boat Grimalkin when the deadliest storm in modern sailing history hit.

Grimalkin capsized again and again; its skipper David Sheahan was lost overboard and Ward's crewmate Gerry Winks died in his arms before he himself was rescued 13 hours later.