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Ballycotton RNLI in 14-hour callout to yacht in difficulty 60 miles off the Cork

Lifeboats News Release

Ballycotton RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat early yesterday (Saturday 22 July) at 9.28am following a request from Falmouth coastguard who reported the activation of an EPIRB (an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) approximately sixty miles off the Cork coast.

Fourteen hour tow for Ballycotton RNLI

RNLI/Ballycotton

Fourteen hour tow for Ballycotton RNLI

The three person crew of the 40ft yacht had activated the emergency beacon as the vessel was taking on water and needed immediate assistance. The resulting tow by Ballycotton RNLI saw the lifeboat crew on service for 14 hours, eventually bringing the vessel and its crew safely into Crosshaven, Cork last night.

Sennen Cove lifeboat and the coastguard helicopter from Newquay were also dispatched to the scene but were stood down with the arrival of Ballycotton RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117.

Once it was confirmed that the water was receding, Rescue 117 was stood down and Ballycotton RNLI established a tow with the vessel to bring it safely to Crosshaven in Cork. Conditions were described as fresh and with the vessel estimated to be some sixty miles offshore it was 14 hours before the lifeboat crew returned home to Ballycotton. With the lifeboat being such a long distance off shore, radio coverage was challenging and the vessel Ocean Spey which was on standby at the Gas Fields halfway between the Cork coast and the yacht in difficulty, helped by relaying comms between the lifeboat and the Coast Guard.

Commenting on the callout Ballycotton RNLI Coxswain Eolan Walsh said, ‘This was one of the longest callouts for our lifeboat crew as they spent nearly a day at sea ensuring the safe passage of a yacht which was taking on water miles off the Cork coast. Many agencies and vessels played a part in the successful resolution of this and thankfully nobody was injured with both crew and yacht been brought safely to shore. I want to thank my volunteer lifeboat crew who despite the challenging conditions were focused on bringing everyone home safely. ’

Ends

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Michelle Scanlon Ballycotton RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 086 352 8919 email: mellsca@hotmail.com or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email: Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org

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

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