Baltimore RNLI bring 13 people to safety after yacht loses rigging during race

Lifeboats News Release

Baltimore RNLI brought 13 people safely ashore after their yacht got into difficulty in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday 9 August), 26 miles south east of Baltimore, West Cork.

Baltimore RNLI bring 13 people to safety


Baltimore RNLI bring 13 people to safety

The volunteer lifeboat crew were alerted by the Irish Coast Guard at 2.05am that a yacht participating in the famous Fastnet Race had lost its rigging, 26 miles south east of Baltimore with 13 people on board.

The lifeboat with seven crew on board, proceeded to the scene, arriving at 3.31am. The rod rigging on the 45ft yacht was still standing, however part of the outer rigging had failed and the mast was in danger of coming down. The crew of the yacht informed the lifeboat crew that their fuel had been contaminated and they were running on a small container of spare fuel which they estimated would only give them an hour’s motoring time.

Conditions at the time were choppy with a north westerly force 4 wind and 1-1.5m swell. The crew on the yacht agreed that a tow would be best, so while the lifeboat stood by, they secured the rig as best they could. As soon as the lifeboat sent over the tow line, the engine of the yacht cut out. The tow was established and the lifeboat started to bring the yacht back to Baltimore.

During the tow, due to the unstable nature of the mast, the lifeboat crew advised everyone to stay below deck in case the mast came down. The lifeboat towed the casualty vessel to the fishing pier in Baltimore Harbour, arriving at 10am.

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Kieran Cotter, Mechanic Pat Collins and crew members Jerry Smith, Brian McSweeney, Don O’Donovan, Sean McCarthy and Eoin Ryan. Providing assistance at the boathouse were Aidan Bushe, Colin Rochford and Ryan O’Mahony.

Speaking following the callout, Kieran Cotter, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Coxswain said: ‘Thankfully the rigging held and the experienced crew aboard the yacht managed to do the best that they could do to avoid injury and to secure and preserve the yacht’s rig under difficult circumstances.’


RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Kate Callanan Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 087 290 6607 or Baltimore RNLI Deputy Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Cyril Thornton Tel: 087 9876718

For more information please contact Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Ireland on 0876483547 or email or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Ireland on 0871254124 or 018900460 or email

Baltimore RNLI tows yacht which lost part of its rigging


Baltimore RNLI tows yacht which lost part of its rigging

Key facts about the RNLI

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.