Donate now

Aran Islands RNLI rescue eight people on two yachts in separate incidents

Lifeboats News Release

Aran Islands RNLI has come to the aid of eight people in two separate incidents over the weekend after two yachts got into difficulty.

Aran Islands RNLI

RNLI/Aran Islands

Aran Islands RNLI

The volunteer crew spent six hours at sea on Saturday night into the early hours of Sunday morning (23 July) after responding to a request to launch their all-weather lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 10.58pm on Saturday.

A 11.2m yacht with seven onboard, was in difficulty two nautical miles north east of Kilmurvey Bay.

The lifeboat launched under Coxswain Declan Brannigan and a full crew onboard and headed straight for the yacht.

Conditions at the time of launching were tough, with poor visibility, squally showers, a west to south-west force 5 wind blowing and a 3m sea swell.

Arriving on scene, the crew assessed the situation and were happy the crew aboard the yacht were in good health and in no immediate danger. The yacht was drifting as the steering had stopped working completely.

A decision was made to establish a tow line but due to the conditions it was difficult to maintain.

A discussion between the lifeboat crew and the Coast Guard resulted in Casla Coast Guard being tasked to the scene, 1.5 nautical miles south of Cannon Rock light. A tow line was established between Casla Coast Guard and the yacht. The lifeboat proceeded to escort the vessels into Casla Bay where in calmer waters, the Casla Coast Guard was able to get the yacht alongside them and guide her safely into Rossaveal Harbour.

The Aran Islands lifeboat returned to Kilronan at 5.20am.

Meanwhile, the volunteer crew were also requested to launch the lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 6.26pm last Friday (21 July).

A 15m yacht was in difficulty in Casheen Bay, north of the Aran Islands.

The lifeboat launched under Coxswain Declan Brannigan and a full crew and headed straight for the yacht.

Conditions at the time of launching were challenging with moderate visibility, a 2-3m sea swell and a south-west force 6 wind blowing.

Arriving on scene, the crew assessed the situation, and established the yacht with one person onboard was in no immediate danger.

A tow line was established and once clear of a nearby fish farm, the sailor was able to start his engine and the tow line was dropped.

The lifeboat guided the yacht out past Ceann Golam and towards Cannon Rock and the entrance to the channel for Rossaveal harbour. The yacht proceeded safely towards the harbour unaided.

Speaking after the call outs, Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain Declan Brannigan said: 'Saturday was a long night for the volunteer crew but the benefits of regular training paid off. Experience is earned from showing up. I am extremely proud of how they conducted themselves. There was a great response time from the crew for both call outs and in the first call out on Friday, we were able to get to the yacht quickly, and tow the sailor out safely. Saturday’s call out proved more challenging with the conditions and the hours of darkness but again, we were delighted to bring all seven to safety. Calling the Coast Guard for assistance in both these cases was the correct move.

‘Even in the summer conditions can change quickly and push even the most experienced sailors out of their comfort zones. We would encourage everyone to be fully trained in the usage of all their equipment onboard ahead of their planned trip at sea.’

Ends

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.

Categories