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Breaking: Two more call-outs for busy lifeboat stations

June 23rd, 2022 11:58 AM

By Siobhan Cronin

The Baltimore crew towed a boat which had suffered engine failure near the Fastnet. (Photo: Aidan Bushe)

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OUR lifeboat volunteers have had another busy 24 hours.

Baltimore RNLI were called out to provide assistance to a motor boat with two people onboard that got into difficulty near the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse off the coast of West Cork yesterday evening.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 4.40pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a 30ft motor boat with two people on board which was suffering from mechanical problems less than a mile north of the Fastnet Rock lighthouse.

The Baltimore inshore lifeboat crew arrived on scene at 5.03pm and the casualty vessel had managed to start an engine and was attempting to make its own way to port.  The inshore lifeboat stood by and shortly afterwards the vessel suffered further engine failure so helm Pat O’Driscoll decided that undertaking a tow was now necessary.

Volunteer crew member Kieran O’Driscoll was put aboard the casualty vessel to assist in rigging a tow and shortly after the lifeboat and casualty vessel were underway and heading to Baltimore harbour, the nearest safe and suitable port.

Once the casualty vessel was secured at the pier in Baltimore, the lifeboat returned to the station, arriving at 6.51pm.

There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat – helm Pat O’Driscoll and crew members Ian Lynch, James Kitt and Kieran O’Driscoll.  Conditions at sea during the call were calm with a westerly force 3-4 wind and excellent visibility.

Speaking following the call-out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer said: ‘This is the second call in two days for Baltimore RNLI, after yesterday responding to a yacht in difficulty.  Just as the occupants of both vessels did, it is important to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard as soon as you find yourself in difficulty at sea.’

Meanwhile, the Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat station was alerted yesterday Wednesday afternoon at 3.30pm by the Valentia Coast Guard marine rescue co-ordination centre, that a 42ft yacht had developed mechanical problems 25 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale and required assistance.

The lifeboat, under coxswain Mark John Gannon, and a crew of five, assembled quickly and proceeded to the area of the casualty, which was just south of the Kinsale Head gasfield which is currently being decommissioned.

The Lifeboat located the stricken yacht at 5.30pm and a decision was taken to take the yacht in tow and return under a safe speed to the nearest port of Courtmacsherry.

The yacht, with two persons on board, was on passage from Kinsale to the Scilly Isles when they encountered difficulties. The weather at sea was good with light winds.

The lifeboat after a four-and-a-half hour tow arrived back to Courtmacsherry pontoon at 10.15pm and the yacht and its crew were pleased to be back to a port safely.

The Courtmacsherry lifeboat duty launch authority Philip White said: ‘It has been a very busy six days, with four callouts and great credit is due to all the volunteer crew who drop everything when their bleepers sound to help others in distress.’

The Courtmacsherry crew were coxswain Mark John Gannon, mechanic Chris Guy and crew members Dara Gannon, Dave Philips and Pat Lawton.

 

 

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