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RNLI lifeboats launch to sinking tall ship with 30 people on board off Kinsale

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Niamh Stephenson
Public Relations Manager, Ireland at Dublin.

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Lifeboats News Release

  • Date:
    24/07/2013
  • Author: Niamh Stephenson

Four RNLI lifeboats were launched this afternoon to a sinking 42 metre Dutch training vessel Astrid, which had hit rocks inside the Sovereign Islands at Ballymacus Point near Kinsale in Cork.

All 30 people on board were brought to safety when Kinsale lifeboat transferred all the casualties from the sinking ship onto Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat and a local vessel. They were then taken to Kinsale.  

Both Kinsale and Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboats were called out at 12 noon today (Wednesday 24 July)  to go to the immediate aid of the sail training vessel that had got into difficulties on the western entrance to Kinsale Harbour in Cork. There was a two metre swell and winds were Force five to six. Ballycotton and Crosshaven RNLI were also launched. Kinsale RNLI lifeboat was first on scene.

The training vessel had lost power and was driven on to rocks by a strong southerly wind at the western entrance to Kinsale Harbour. The grounded vessel was taking on water and a crewmember from Kinsale RNLI was put on board. Eighteen of the casualties were taken off the Astrid by Kinsale RNLI lifeboat and transferred to Courtmacsherry lifeboat, before being brought to safety.

The remaining twelve were put onto a liferaft deployed by the Astrid’s crew, which was towed to safety by the Kinsale lifeboat and picked up by a local vessel. The people on board the liferaft were then taken to Kinsale harbour and assessed by medical teams.

Irish Coast Guard helicopters from Waterford and Shannon were also on scene along with ambulances and medical crews from Cork.

Speaking about the callout Courtmacsherry RNLI Coxswain Sean O’Farrell said, “Everyone was very fortunate.  I want to praise the quick thinking of the skipper and the crew from the Astrid. They kept calm and did everything we asked them to do.  We were able to get them to safety quickly and a major tragedy was averted.  To be able to recover thirty people was a great day for everyone involved. It was a great team effort between the RNLI lifeboats and all the vessels that came to their aid.”

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 00353 (0)87 1254 124 / 00353 (0)1 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 00353 (0)87 6483547 Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org. Alternatively, contact the RNLI press office on 00 44 (0)1202 336789.

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Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland from 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

 

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland