Clifden and Achill Island RNLI brave Storm Agnes to rescue a lone sailor
The volunteer RNLI crews were called out early this morning to assist a sailor who had run into difficulty in heavy seas.
Both Clifden and Achill Island RNLI were tasked by Malin Head Coast Guard just after 6am, the sailor of a 46ft yacht had called for assistance after losing engine power and weather conditions were deteriorating.
Thomas Davis was Coxswain of Clifden’s St Christopher, his first rescue in command of the lifeboat since passing out as Coxswain. Crew members were Joe Acton, Andy Bell, Shane Conneely, Chris Nee and Owen Hayes.
Achill Island RNLI launched their all weather lifeboat Sam and Ada Moody with Declan Corrigan as Coxswain and Michael Cattigan, Patrick Kilbane, Thomas Ruddy, Terry Hogarth and Alex Blackmun as crew.
Sea conditions at the time were very difficult and the lifeboat crews faced four meter swells, driving rain and Force 8 winds out at sea. The casualty vessel was located 10 miles west of Clare Island, once on scene the crew communicated with the sailor who was unharmed and grateful for the assistance.
Clifden lifeboat crew managed to establish a tow-line despite the storm conditions and commenced the long journey to safe harbour in Cleggan. Achill crew provided welcome cover and escorted St Christopher and the casualty vessel back to safety, before returning to base.
Speaking about the rescue Thomas Davis, Clifden RNLI Coxswain commended both lifeboat crews saying; “The storm conditions and the distance we travelled today made for a challenging rescue, but this is what we train for, and I’m happy we were able to bring this sailor back to shore. I’d like to thank Achill Island RNLI for standing by us today which was a great support throughout the ten hours at sea.
“I’d remind everyone of safety advice during storm conditions; please exercise extreme caution around the coast and shore line. Always check the weather and the tides before going to sea and always call for help if you are in difficulty.”
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Mella Walsh, Clifden RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 0897025993, email [email protected] or Nuala McAloon, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 00353 87 648 3547 or email [email protected] or Niamh Stephenson, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 00353 87 1254 124 or [email protected]
For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around Ireland and the UK. The RNLI operates 46 lifeboat stations in Ireland. The RNLI is independent of government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service.
Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, the charity has saved over 142,200 lives
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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