Dunmore East RNLI responds to two solo sailors in successive call-outs
Dunmore East RNLI volunteer crew assisted two separate solo sailors in a series of back-to-back call outs yesterday (17 August).
The sailors, each piloting their own 6m sail-only vessels, were part of the qualifying stages for a long-distance solo race. They had intended to make their way back to their homeport in France, however, unexpected weather complications meant they had to alter their course and seek the safe harbour of Dunmore East.
The day's events began with the first alarm at 1.57pm. Led by Coxswain Trevor Devereux, the team made best haste to a location west of Hook Head, approximately 4 nautical miles from Dunmore East. The first sailor, hailing from France and lacking engine power, was in good spirits and welcomed the RNLI's assistance. Given the deteriorating conditions, the crew opted to tow the vessel to Dunmore East.
Scarcely had they returned to port, at 3.17pm, when the Irish Coast Guard's second alert came through. Another sailor, part of the same race, also encountered difficulties, this time in a slightly different position, 1 nautical mile south of Hook Head. The RNLI crew, still in the midst of prepping their all-weather lifeboat 'William and Agnes Wray' from the prior mission, mobilised immediately. To ensure the safe transit of the second vessel, an RNLI crew member boarded, guiding it and its sailor back to Dunmore East.
The day’s efforts saw the seamless collaboration of the crew: Trevor, David M, Fergus, Paul, Luka, and notably Susan, who marked her first mission. Operations from the shore were managed by Deputy Launch Authority, Elaine Power and Lifeboat Operations Manager, Liz Power.
Lifeboat Press Officer Peter Grogan commented on the day's events, stating, 'Despite the solo sailors being very experienced and well-equipped, today's situation underscores the unpredictability of the sea. Their foresight to carry a VHF radio was crucial, allowing them to swiftly call for assistance when needed. They did the right thing by calling for help. We can't stress enough the importance for all sea users to maintain a reliable means of communication at all times.'
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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