Castletownbere lifeboat was launched on Saturday night to go to the immediate assistance of two sailors who were crossing the Atlantic from the United States and had run into challenging weather and needed assistance.
A Vermont-based couple had set out in their 37-foot yacht from Boston a number of weeks ago and were crossing the Atlantic on route to Scotland. At 5:30pm yesterday evening, the Irish Coast Guard’s Marine Research Coordination Centre in Valentia advised the yacht to change course and make for Castletownbere due to deteriorating weather conditions.
As the evening progressed and weather conditions became increasingly challenging, Castletownbere lifeboat, ‘Annette Hutton’, was tasked at 10.00 p.m. and launched immediately under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty with crew Dave O’Donovan, David Lynch, Marc O’Hare, Donagh Murphy and Dion Kelly.
The yacht was located at 10:46 p.m. ten miles South-West of Castletownbere – conditions onscene were Westerly Force 6/7 winds and a 3 metre sea swell. A local fishing boat assisted while the lifeboat escorted the yacht. Once in calmer waters, a lifeboat volunteer went aboard to assist with berthing the yacht at Castletownbere pier.
When ashore, the sailors had refreshments in the lifeboat and expressed their gratitude to the Irish Coast Guard, The Castletownbere lifeboat and the skipper of the local trawler.
One of the sailors commented: ‘It was so reassuring to see the lifeboat coming – we were tired and sea conditions were challenging and we are so delighted to be safe and on dry land now.’
This was Castletownbere lifeboat second call-out in two days – on Saturday, the lifeboat was involved in a multi-agency search for a missing person in the Ballylickey area.