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Baltimore RNLI Crews in Storm Agnes Call Out

September 27th, 2023 8:16 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Baltimore RNLI Crews in Storm Agnes Call Out Image
Two of Baltimore's RNLI crews went to the assistance of a yacht this afternoon. Photo: Gerald O'Brien.

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Two Baltimore RNLI crews were called out during Storm Agnes this afternoon to assist a yacht that was dragging its anchor in the Ilen River.

Conditions during the call out were described as ‘testing’ with strong gale force winds of force 8 to 9, gusting up to storm force 11-12 and a large sea swell.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched the all-weather lifeboat, the Alan Massey, at 3.48pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a yacht on the Ilen because it was dragging its anchor in storm force winds.

The Baltimore lifeboat crew arrived at the yacht at 3.59pm, by which time the yacht with one person on board had gone aground.

Coxswain Pat Collins assessed the situation and decided that a tow was necessary.

Volunteer crew members Mícheál Cottrell and David Ryan were put aboard the casualty vessel at 4.06pm to rig a tow and they cut clear the anchor so the yacht could be towed freely.

At 4.12pm the all-weather lifeboat with the casualty vessel under tow then proceeded to Baltimore Harbour, which was the nearest safe and suitable port.

Due to the storm force conditions with winds gusting to force 12 the coxswain requested that Baltimore’s inshore lifeboat, the Rita Daphne Smyth, be launched to assist with the mooring of the yacht.

The Alan Massey made the short journey back to the lifeboat house arriving at 5.08pm while the Rita Daphne Smyth came alongside the vessel to collect the two remaining volunteer lifeboat crew and they returned to the lifeboat station at 5.20pm.

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the all -weather lifeboat including coxswain Pat Collins, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Jerry Smith, Mícheál Cottrell, Don O’Donovan, Colin Whooley and David Ryan.

There were four volunteer crew onboard the inshore lifeboat, helm Kieran Collins and crew members Kieran O’Driscoll, Rob O’Leary and James Kitt.

Assisting at the lifeboat station were Rianne Smith, Marion MacFeely, Seamus O’Driscoll, Brian McSweeney and Sean McCarthy.

Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat press officer said both of our lifeboats were requested to launch in the height of Storm Agnes and conditions were very testing with strong wind, rough seas and poor visibility.

‘There was excellent teamwork shown by both crews throughout the call out and it is a testimony to the high quality of training that the RNLI lifeboat crews receive,’ she told The Southern Star.

‘As always we are very grateful to our volunteer lifeboat crew and shore crews who turn up regardless of the conditions to help people at sea.

‘Due to the high winds and heavy rain still expected to continue into early Thursday morning we urge people to exercise extreme caution, particularly along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers,’ she added.

If you see someone else in danger in the water call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

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