Castletownbere RNLI helps transatlantic sailors in difficulty
Castletownbere RNLI was launched yesterday (Saturday 25 June) at 10.05pm to go to the immediate assistance of two sailors who were crossing the Atlantic and had run into challenging weather and needed assistance.
A couple had set out in their 37ft yacht from Boston a number of weeks ago and were crossing the Atlantic on route to Scotland.
At 5.30pm yesterday evening, the Irish Coast Guard’s Marine Research Coordination Centre in Valentia advised the yacht to change course and make for Castletownbere due to deteriorating weather conditions.
As the evening progressed and weather conditions became increasingly challenging, Castletownbere RNLI's all-weather lifeboat, Annette Hutton, was requested at 10pm and launched immediately under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty with crew Dave O’Donovan, David Lynch, Marc O’Hare, Donagh Murphy and Dion Kelly.
The yacht was located at 10:46pm 10 miles south west of Castletownbere. Conditions on scene were westerly Force 6-7 winds and a 3m sea swell. A local fishing boat assisted while the lifeboat escorted the yacht. Once in calmer waters, a lifeboat volunteer went aboard to assist with berthing the yacht at Castletownbere pier.
When ashore, the sailors had refreshments in the lifeboat and expressed their gratitude to the Irish Coast Guard, the Castletownbere lifeboat crew and the skipper of the local trawler. One of the sailors commented: ‘It was so reassuring to see the lifeboat coming – we were tired and sea conditions were challenging and we are so delighted to be safe and on dry land now!’
This was Castletownbere RNLI's second call out in two days – on Saturday, the lifeboat was involved in a multi-agency search for a missing person in the Ballylickey area.
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.
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