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Sligo Bay RNLI volunteers rescue lone sailor eight miles out to sea

Lifeboats News Release

Sligo Bay RNLI volunteer crew were requested to launch by Malin Head Coast Guard shortly after 4pm yesterday (17 September) to assist a lone sailor aboard a 38ft yacht eight miles out at sea.

Passing by Coney Island

RNLI/Aisling Gillen

Under Tow

The Sheila and Dennis Tongue inshore lifeboat launched at 4.17pm with four crew members onboard and was on scene at 4.47pm. Sea conditions at the time were good.

Once on the scene, the crew assessed the situation and found the sailor to be fine, but the wind had dropped and the yacht had experienced engine failure and was not able to make any headway. The sailor reacting quickly, had called 999 and requested assistance from the Coast Guard who in turn paged the lifeboat. A lifeboat crew member went onboard to assist the sailor with setting up the tow with the lifeboat before the boat was towed back to the nearest safe port in Sligo town.

Speaking after the rescue, Michael Waters, Sligo Bay RNLI Helm said: 'We launched to a 38ft steel hull yacht with one crew onboard that found itself becalmed due to no wind and engine failure eight miles west of the Wheat Rock buoy. One of the lifeboat crew was put onboard to help the sailor with the tow back to Sligo. The tow was quickly established, and we proceed to the pontoon in Sligo town arriving at 7.20pm.'

Once the yacht was safely tied up the lifeboat returned to the station where it was was washed down, refuelled and made ready for service again by the volunteer shore crew.


Passing by the lifeboat station enroute to Sligo Harbour

RNLI/Eithne Davis

Under Tow

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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