Page last updated at 13:17 GMT, Thursday, 11 June 2009 14:17 UK

Further arrests at Shell compound

Corrib refinery
All the arrests were made in the Glengad area

Eight people have been arrested on public order charges following incidents close to the Shell owned Corrib refinery in County Mayo.

Two men were arrested in Glengad on Wednesday evening after trucks used to collect stone from a quarry were allegedly damaged.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, four men and two women were detained the same area.

It is alleged they were trying to disrupt dredging work.

Also on Thursday morning, two men were rescued from a life raft in the sea off County Mayo after their fishing vessel sank.

When their vessel, Iona Isle, began sinking, the two men got into their raft and issued a Mayday call to the Malin Head Coastguard.

Malin Head Coastguard received the call at the same time that 15 kayaks were moving towards the Shell dredger within 1km of the shoreline at Glengad beach.

Two boats from the Garda Water Unit were dealing with this incident at the time the distress signal was received. The boats diverted and went in search of the sinking vessel.

'Masked men'

The Coastguard put out a call to nearby vessels and the 'Rachel Mary' reached the Iona Isle first and took two crewmen aboard.

The men were taken to Ballyglass Pier and on to hospital in Castlebar as a precautionary measure.

Meanwhile, Shell to Sea protesters said the boat was boarded by four masked men in the early hours of this morning.

They said the crewmen - including prominent fishing rights activist Pat O'Donnell - were held in the wheelhouse of the vessel and allowed to issue the Mayday call before the Iona Isle was deliberately sunk.

On Thursday afternoon, Shell issued a statement "emphatically rejecting any allegation that people employed on the Corrib Gas project were involved in any way in the incident which led to the sinking of the Iona Isle".

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