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Ballycotton RNLI in 10 hour call out to yacht 84 miles off Cork coast

Lifeboats News Release

Ballycotton RNLI launched their all-weather yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 9 August) at approximately 1pm to aid a yacht in difficulty approximately 84 miles south of Ballycotton.

The yacht with 10 people onboard was returning from the Fastnet offshore yacht race when the vessel lost its rudder and was unable to steer. The resulting support by Ballycotton RNLI saw the volunteer lifeboat crew on service for over 10 hours, eventually returning home to Ballycotton shortly after 11.30pm last night.

St. Mary’s lifeboat from the Scilly Islands was also requested to launch and was first to arrive on scene at 4.15pm yesterday afternoon, shortly followed by the Ballycotton all-weather lifeboat at 4.45pm.

St. Mary’s lifeboat put the yacht, namely the Vencom under tow and began to take the vessel back ashore to the Isle of Scilly. The yacht was manoeuvring violently while under tow and was unable to hold a straight line behind the lifeboat which then required assistance from the Ballycotton lifeboat crew. Ballycotton agreed to pass a casualty drogue to the yacht which enabled it to remain in a towable position and under control.

Once it was confirmed that the casualty vessel and St. Mary’s lifeboat were safe and in a stable towing position, Ballycotton lifeboat was then advised to return home.

Commenting on the call out Ballycotton RNLI Coxswain Eolan Walsh said: ‘This was the furthest offshore rescue that I personally have ever been requested to and it was a pleasure to be able to assist the crew of the Vencom. We would like to commend both the crew members onboard the yacht who were all wearing suitable lifejackets and also thank the crew on board the St. Mary's lifeboat for their efforts in ensuring a positive outcome for all involved. I would also like to thank my volunteer crew who despite a very long and tiring launch remained focussed on bringing everyone home safely. ’


RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Michelle Scanlon Ballycotton RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 086 352 8919 email: or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email:


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 Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 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.

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