Maritime rescue services are searching for the trawler Pere Charles, believed to have sunk off the coast of County Wexford.

Three hours since contact was lost with the missing trawler Pere Charles off Hook Head on the County Wexford coast, boats come in and out of Dunmore East in County Waterford to help with the search and rescue mission. The trawlers and lifeboats involved in the operation are battling with treacherous conditions.

High seas, fierce winds, strong currents and very low water temperatures.

The Pere Charles was built in France but purchased by Wexford based fisherman Michael Walsh in 2006 and has been fishing out of Dunmore East since then.

Before getting into difficulty, the Pere Charles crew were fishing for herring and had been in radio contact with a nearby vessel the Susanna G two miles south east of Hook Head. Radio contact was lost and marine rescue-services received an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) signal from the trawler,

This signal is normally only activated if the boat is sinking.

Marine rescue say there was no mayday call, but immediately lifeboat crews launched, and search and rescue helicopters joined in with crews from local fishing trawlers in searching for the boat and crew members.

Some debris was recovered at the point of the vessel’s last location, but there were no sign of survivors.

The next few hours will be crucial if any survivors are to be found.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 10 January 2007. The reporter is Damien Tiernan.

On 7 November 2007, the 'Pere Charles' was recovered from the seabed. The bodies of the five-man crew, skipper Tom Hennessy, Pat Hennessy, Billy O'Connor, Pat Coady and Andriy Dyrin were never recovered.