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Castletownbere RNLI spend over 12 hours at sea rescuing sailor in storm

Lifeboats News Release

The Castletownbere lifeboat, Annette Hutton, was launched early this morning (Saturday 20th August 2016) when Valentia Coast Guard Radio requested assistance to a yacht in difficulties 45 miles south of Mizen head in West Cork.

The eight-metre yacht, with one person on board, had left the Azores in early August and ran into difficulties yesterday. The sailor, in his sixties, had been in regular radio contact with Valentia Coast Guard radio until this morning when his VHF radio was washed overboard. He activated an EPIRB to identify his location, raise the alarm and seek help.

The lifeboat, under the command of Coxswain Brian O’Driscoll, was launched at 8.00 a.m. and located the casualty at 10.40 a.m. 50 miles south-west of Castletownbere. The Coast Guard helicoptor was also on scene.


Conditions were described as ‘gusting Force 8/9 winds with a thirty foot swell’’.  The yacht was taken under tow and the lifeboat proceeded slowly to Castletownbere in challenging sea conditions. Early into the tow lifeboat crew became concerned about the wellbeing of the sailor and  crew managed to transfer him to the lifeboat. The lifeboat, with the damaged yacht in tow, returned to Castletownbere at 8.30 p.m. having been at sea for twelve and a half hours.

This evening the sailor thanked the Castletownbere lifeboat and all involved for ‘saving his life’. He said: ‘only for the lifeboat, things would have ended up very badly today’.

Commenting on the call-out, Castletownbere Lifeboat Operations Manager Tony O’Sullivan stated that ‘The coxswain and crew are to be complimented on today’s rescue – they demonstrated skill, seamanship and endurance during what was a long and challenging day.

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RNLI media contacts
For information contact Paul Stevens Castletownbere Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Paul Stevens tel: 086 6015110 or email paul@stevens.net or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Media Relations tel: 087 1254 124 or email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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