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Baltimore RNLI rescues lone sailor from capsized yacht 70 miles off Baltimore

Lifeboats News Release

Baltimore RNLI were called out to assist a lone sailor whose yacht had capsized 70 miles off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork, yesterday evening (Tuesday 19 July).

RNLI/Micheal Cottrell

Baltimore RNLI all-weather lifeboat (file image)

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 5.50pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a lone sailor who had been taking part in a race when his yacht capsized, approximately 70 miles off the coast of Baltimore.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at the casualty vessel at 9.08pm. The sailor was on the upturned hull of the catamaran in which he had been racing in single handedly. Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 was also on scene. Due to the conditions at sea, Coxswain Aidan Bushe decided the best course of action was to launch their small inflatable Y-Boat from the all-weather lifeboat with two RNLI crew members on board. Brendan Cottrell and Brian McSweeney were able to manoeuvre the Y-Boat alongside the casualty vessel to rescue the sailor from the upturned hull. RNLI crew members assisted the sailor up on to the lifeboat from the Y-Boat and Rescue 117 winched the casualty from the lifeboat into the helicopter where they then departed the scene at 9.58pm. Baltimore RNLI crew members recovered their Y-Boat and the lifeboat made its way back to Baltimore, arriving back at the station at 1.30am.

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Nigel Kehoe and crew members Brendan Cottrell, Eoin Ryan, Brian McSweeney, Jim Griffiths and Emma Lupton. Conditions at sea during the call were challenging with a north to north westerly force 6-7 wind and a 3 to 4m sea swell.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘This is a great example of a joint-agency rescue working together under difficult conditions to save a life. We wish the sailor a speedy recovery and thank our colleagues in the Irish Coast Guard for all assistance provided during this callout. Please remember, if you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’


RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 0872906607 or email [email protected] or contact Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer on 0876483547 or [email protected] or Niamh Stephenson, Regional Media Manager on 0871254124 or [email protected]

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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.