Kilmore Quay RNLI make a rapid diversion for a Mayday call.
The volunteer crew at Kilmore Quay were initially alerted at 7:45pm on Saturday 29 June, to a nine meter yacht with three people on board which was four miles east of the harbour.
The yacht had made contact with Rosslare Coast Guard requesting a tow to Kilmore Quay as they were having trouble making way to the west as they had lost their engine and the west-south-west wind was making progress slow.
But as the lifeboat was proceeding over St. Patrick's Bridge, a MAYDAY was broadcast on channel 16 over the VHF radio from a yacht 13 miles away.
Rosslare Coast Guard responded to the distress call and was informed the yacht’s skipper had been involved in an accident. As the yacht's crew were adjusting a sail, a piece of rigging had parted and seriously injured the skipper's hand.
The 12 meter yacht was in a position 13 miles to the South-West of Kilmore Quay, so Rosslare Coast Guard immediately diverted Kilmore Quay lifeboat to the scene and also tasked the Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 from Waterford airport.
Kilmore Quay lifeboat had 30 minutes to run to get to the yacht. In the meantime additional volunteer RNLI crew had arrived at the lifeboat station.
On seeing the situation, one of the crew, a local charter boat skipper, offered to go and tow the original yacht, that was to the east of Kilmore Quay, back to the harbour, so he and two other lifeboat crew headed off to get the smaller yacht while the lifeboat made her way offshore.
Kilmore Quay lifeboat arrived on scene of the yachting accident just after Rescue helicopter 117. The helicopter crew had accessed the situation with regard to winching the person from the yacht.
It was decided the safest option was to transfer the casualty to the lifeboat where the winch man accessed the casualty and administered pain relief before winching them to the helicopter for transportation to Waterford University Hospital for treatment.
Aiden Bates, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Kilmore Quay Lifeboat Station 00353 86 334 8336
Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer, Ireland 00353 87 648 3547 Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk
Key facts about the RNLI
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.