The Courtmacsherry lifeboat was called out at 5.20pm on Friday evening to go to the aid of a solo sailor in a 31ft yacht that had got into difficulties 40 miles off the Seven Heads in West Cork.
The six-man RNLI crew, under coxswain Kevin Young, launched the all-weather Trent class lifeboat immediately and proceeded at full speed to the distress area. The yacht was on a voyage from the Azores when it developed mechanical difficulties and sought help.
Arriving at the scene at 7.30pm, the lifeboat succeeded in taking the stricken vessel in tow and commenced its long and slow journey back to Courtmacsherry Harbour.
Almost nine hours after its launch, the lifeboat arrived safely back into Courtmacsherry Harbour at 2.15am with the casualty in tow and both berthed at the pier pontoon. The lone skipper of the offshore yacht, ‘Quadrille,’ was glad to be in the safe surrounds of Courtmacsherry after spending 10 days at sea on his voyage from the Azores, off North Africa, en route to Milfordhaven in Wales.
Skipper Rees Hopkins from Cardiff has been on a singlehanded round the world sailing trip for the past 11 months and he lost power with mechanical failure three days ago. He is looking forward to a few quiet and restful days in Courtmacsherry before resuming his journey.
The voluntary crew of the lifeboat on this callout was coxswain Kevin Young, mechanic Pat Lawton and crew members Dara Gannon, Ciaran Hurley, Austin McKenna and Evin O’Sullivan.
Voluntary operations manager Brian O’Dwyer commented: ‘We are full of praise for the fast response of this evening’s voluntary crew and in carrying out the rescue with skill and precision over a nine-hour period.’