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Howth RNLI rescue two people on board yacht in difficulty off north Dublin coast

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer lifeboat crew of Howth RNLI launched their All-Weather Lifeboat yesterday (Friday 29 December) to reports of a yacht with two people on board that was being blown offshore and unable to make its way back to safety.

Shortly after midday, the Coast Guard received a call from the yacht which gave its position as south of Lambay Island, the largest island off the east coast of Ireland. The sea conditions were challenging and the crew of the yacht were unable to make progress towards their intended destination, and were unable to make their way back to the safety of a harbour.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 12:11pm to launch the All-Weather Lifeboat, the Roy Barker III. The crew made their way to the lifeboat station, and launched the lifeboat within ten minutes. Visibility was good, however the winds and sea state were challenging with winds blowing force 5 to 6, and gusting force 7.

The lifeboat was on scene in fifteen minutes. The coxswain decided to put a lifeboat crew member on board the yacht to assess the two people on board. The coxswain manoeuvred the lifeboat alongside the yacht and transferred the crew member across. The crew member established that the two people on board were wet and cold but otherwise unharmed. The coxswain decided to take the yacht under tow and to bring it to the safety of Howth harbour.

The crew set up the tow line and once ready, the coxswain again brought the lifeboat alongside the yacht to allow the crew transfer the tow line across. The tow line was secured and the yacht was towed back to Howth. The lifeboat returned to the lifeboat station at 13:40 and was made ready for its next service.

Speaking following the incident, Howth RNLI Second Coxswain Ian Sheridan said: "The RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews are on call 24/7 365 days of the year. As the weather conditions were deteriorating, the crew of the yacht did the right thing in calling for help before it was too late. Our volunteer crew responded to the pager quickly and we were able to launch and locate the yacht within twenty five minutes of their call for help.

"We train regularly in all weather conditions to ensure that when the pager goes off we can get out to sea to save lives and get back safely.

This type of call out for the RNLI provides a good opportunity to remind boat owners to always check the weather forecast and sea conditions before you set off and have a means of calling for help at all times. If you get into difficulty or see anyone in distress on or close to the water, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.'


Howth RNLI crew member preparing to board yacht in difficulty in the Irish Sea.

Howth RNLI

Howth RNLI crew member preparing to board yacht in difficulty in the Irish Sea.
Yacht with two people on board in difficulty in the Irish Sea.

Howth RNLI

Yacht in difficulty in Irish Sea
Howth Lifeboat towing yacht with two persons on board back to Howth harbour

Howth RNLI

Howth Lifeboat towing yacht with two persons on board back to Howth harbour

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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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.