A 44ft yacht with five people onboard on passage from the Scilly Isles to Dungarvan lost its rudder 10 miles south of Mine Head and was brought to safety by lifeboat crew from Ballycotton RNLI today (22 August).
The Ballycotton RNLI all-weather Trent class lifeboat The Austin Lidbury, and volunteer crew were requested to launch by Valentia Coast Guard at 7.45am following a request for assistance from the crew of the French yacht who had lost its rudder and was left powerless to steer its course
The crew were able to make contact with the yacht and arrived on scene at 9.15 am. All five crew onboard the yacht were wearing a flotation device and were unharmed.
Given the location of the vessel and the conditions at the time, it was decided that the safest option was to tow the vessel to Ballycotton harbour. Once the towline was secured they began the slow and difficult task of towing the rudderless yacht back to Ballycotton. This was made particularly difficult by a south west wind force four with a moderate swell. The yacht was safely berthed in Ballycotton pier by 1.15pm and will remain in Ballycotton until damage can be properly assessed and repairs carried out.
Commenting on the call out, Ballycotton Deputy Coxswain Barry McDonald said: ‘I would especially like to thank all the crew who responded to the pager as handling a rudderless yacht is challenging and also to the ground crew who assisted when we arrived back in the harbour. We would also like to congratulate David Casey on his first call out as newly qualified navigator.
'If you see somebody in trouble on the water or along the coast, or think they are in trouble; Dial 999 or 112 or use VHF radio CH 16 and ask for the Coast Guard.'
The volunteer lifeboat crew comprised of Deputy Coxswain Barry McDonald, Mechanic Adam Hussey, Navigator David Casey and volunteers Eolan Breathnach, Cíaran Walsh, Kate Flemming and Stephen Sloane.
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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