RNLI undertake massive 14-hour mission to rescue three people on stranded yacht

The Independent, Ireland. By Rebecca Lumley.

 A heroic RNLI crew embarked on a massive 14-hour rescue mission to rescue three people after their yacht ran into difficulty halfway between Irish and English coasts.

The yacht's emergency beacon alerted Falmouth coastguard in the UK shortly before 9.30am on Saturday morning.

Sennen Cove lifeboat and the Coast Guard helicopter from Newquay in England were also dispatched to the scene, but stood down when the Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat from Cork and the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 arrived.

Ballycotton RNLI Coxswain Eolan Walsh said that although the yacht was taking on water, its three inhabitants were not in serious danger.

“The vessel was taking in water but they managed to get it under control themselves. But due to shortage of fuel and the prevailing winds, they were having some difficulty,” he told Independent.ie.

The RNLI crew set about towing the yacht to land, but could not exceed speeds of 5 knots while doing so. Generally the Ballycotton lifeboat travels at 25 knots.

The two vessels travelled approximately 60 miles to the Cork Coast, where the yacht could sail itself into harbour, with the operation spanning 14 hours in total.

Mr Walsh explained that yachts frequently cross the stretch of water during the summer months and that the area is no more dangerous than any stretch of sea.

The route is particularly popular for sailors crossing from France to Ireland.

“Roughly speaking, where they were was where the British and Irish waters meet. From my understanding it’s a French yacht. My understanding is that they were coming from France,” Mr Walsh said. 

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