Clifden RNLI tow yacht with engine trouble to safety

Lifeboats News Release

Clifden’s all-weather lifeboat was launched on Friday (10 August) at 3.30pm to a yacht with engine trouble north of Slyne head.


The weather was clear with good visibility and a light force two north-west wind, making the yachts passage to Clifden slow-going under sail alone. The yacht was observed on the horizon at approximately 10 nautical miles and a radar track confirmed its heading and low speed.

On arrival at the scene, Clifden RNLI crew member Barry Ward passed the tow rope with a throwing line to the skipper of the casualty vessel. This was successful on the first attempt and the tow was initially commenced windward to aid in the stowing of the mainsail. The foresail had already been stowed via the roller reefing.

An offer of putting a crew member onto the casualty vessel was made but was declined as the yacht’s crew were happy that everything was under control.

With the mainsail stowed, the tow commenced in the direction of Clifden bay. A comfortable speed of six knots was maintained until entering Clifden bay over an hour later, where the tow was shortened to aid the manoeuvring needed to near the mooring. Clifden’s D-class lifeboat was then requested to aid with putting the yacht onto the mooring.

Clifden RNLI Coxswain David Barry explained ‘Once on the mooring, a rope could be observed caught underneath the yachts hull and an attempt was made to release it. This proved unsuccessful but explained how the yacht had lost mechanical propulsion.’

The all-weather and inshore lifeboats returned to their respective mooring and station and Clifden Coast Guard informed they were ready for service at 7pm.


RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Catherine Pryce Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Clifden RNLI Tel: 086 400 6666 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:

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