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Wicklow RNLI tow damaged yacht with five sailors to safety

Lifeboats News Release

Wicklow all-weather lifeboat launched shortly before 6pm this evening (Saturday 9 September) to assist a thirteen metre yacht in difficulties off the Wicklow Coast.

Wicklow all-weather lifeboat RNLB Annie Blaker launches to assist the yacht.


Wicklow all-weather lifeboat RNLB Annie Blaker launches to assist the yacht.

The yacht was on passage from Wales to Ireland when the forestay snapped on the mast rigging twenty-three miles off the Wicklow Coast. The skipper contacted the Coast Guard by VHF radio for assistance as they were unable to use the sails in case the mast broke, they were also low on fuel which would prevent them from reaching Wicklow harbour under their own power,

The lifeboat under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh and six volunteer crew were alongside the stricken vessel at 7.20pm. Conditions at the scene were described as sea state moderate, wind force five, westerly in direction with good visibility.

A towline was quickly rigged to the yacht and the lifeboat crew began a three-hour tow back towards Wicklow harbour.

The yacht with the five sailors was brought safely alongside the south quay at Wicklow harbour at 10.20pm.

The crew on the callout were Coxswain Nick Keogh, Mechanic Brendan Copeland, Ciaran Doyle, Lisa O’ Leary, Terry Sillery, Paul Sillery and John Stapleton.

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 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