Long night at sea as Arklow RNLI assist three people on yacht

Lifeboats News Release

On Tuesday last (4 August) at approximately 6.55pm, Arklow RNLI was requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard.

Securing lines to casualty vessel at Wicklow Harbour

RNLI/Tommy Dover

Bringing the casualty alongside at Wicklow harbour

Under Coxswain Brendan Dillon, Arklow RNLI’s all-weather class lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr plotted a course to the initial reported position of the casualty vessel some 25 miles south east Of Arklow.

Once at sea further information was relayed to the lifeboat by the Irish Coast guard that the casualty vessel was still under sail and making good speed in a northerly direction.

Once the information was received, the crew re plotted their course to intercept the casualty vessel and proceeded across the Arklow Bank to the reported new position.

Fighting complete darkness, 35-40 knot winds and 4 to 5m swells, the casualty vessel was located just north of the notorious Arklow Bank.

Once located and on scene, communication was established with the vessel. The crew of three were suffering the effects of fatigue and sea sickness, but otherwise were ok and happy to continue aboard their own vessel, given they were making good headway. Initially, it was agreed the lifeboat would stand by and escort them but after a long period of this and with the vessel no longer making good headway by sail, the casualty vessel's crew then switched to engine power. After some hours of this and with little or no head way, the vessel was then taken on tow by Arklow RNLI's lifeboat.

By this time, both the lifeboat and vessel had travelled well north and with conditions at sea worsening by the minute, It was decided to make the tow into Wicklow Harbour as this was the safest and shortest option in the darkness and emerging weather conditions.

The casualty vessel was brought alongside at Wicklow Harbour with all hands coming ashore at approximately 1.15am. The casualties though tired and shaken from their ordeal were in good spirits and did not require medical assistance.

Following some hospitality and some crew changes at Wicklow, Arklow's lifeboat put to sea again to return to station.

Following the call out, Coxswain Brendan Dillon said: 'This was a very tough call out for all of our crew and in particular for the three sailors aboard the casualty vessel. Thankfully we were on scene with the casualty and were able to assist them and ultimately tow them back to shore. Given the prevailing conditions at sea, this could have ended very differently. A huge well done to all of our crew on what was an exhausting night for everyone. A huge thanks too to Brendan Copeland, Wicklow RNLI mechanic and all of our fellow volunteers at Wicklow RNLI who came down to the harbour to assist with berthing the casualty vessel and provided some well received and much needed hospitality and refreshments.'

ENDS

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Mark Corcoran, Arklow RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 0868260439, email mark@aslsafety.com or contact Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer on 087 648 3547 or email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager on 087 1254 124 or 01 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk

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Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the Ireland and the UK. The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations with 44 in Ireland. The RNLI is independent of the Coast Guard 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 137,000 lives. The RNLI is a charity registered in England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland and registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SCO37736)

Casualty Vessel alongside Arklow Lifeboat

RNLI/Tommy Dover

Casualty Vessel alongside Arklow Lifeboat

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.

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