Clifden RNLI Assist Yacht in Difficulty near Inishbofin

Lifeboats News Release

Just before 6pm this evening (Saturday August 3rd), Clifden RNLI was requested to launch by Malin Head Coast Guard to go to the aid of a yacht in difficulty between Inishbofin island and the neighbouring small island of Davillaun.

RNLI/Catherine Pryce

Clifden RNLI Mersey class wth yacht under tow, accompanied by Atlantic 85.

The yacht had been on passage to Inishbofin when its dinghy broke free. One of the yacht’s three crew jumped aboard it but found that its engine would not start, and with the yacht having no motor power, the remaining two sailors were unable to retrieve their crew man.

Clifden’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat was launched first by shore crewman John Heffernan, while John B Mannion launched the boarding boat to the Mersey Class all weather lifeboat Fisherman’s Friend.

On the way, the lifeboats received an update that another yacht had managed to get to the crew man’s aid and passed the dinghy back to the yacht. However, when the Atlantic 85 arrived on the scene, it broke free from the assisting yacht once again.

When the lifeboat had retrieved it, RNLI volunteer crew man Owen Hayes boarded the yacht. As weather conditions were force 5 to 6 but deteriorating and their VHF radio had gone dead, the yacht crew agreed to return to shore at Inishbofin. Under coxswain James Mullen and crewed by David O Reilly, Ashling Sweeney, Thomas Davis, Ian Shanahan and Michael Carey, the all weather lifeboat took the yacht under tow into Inishbofin harbour, alongside the Atlantic 85 helmed by Joe Acton, with Kenneth Flaherty and Chris Nee also on crew.

In a very busy week of training and call outs, both Clifden RNLI lifeboats returned to station ready for next service by 10pm.

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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, in a normal year, 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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