The Courtmacsherry lifeboat crew’s enjoyment of the local festival’s beach barbecue was cut short when the siren went off for a call-out at 9pm on Friday night.
The all-weather RNLI lifeboat, ‘Frederick Storey Cockburn,’ received a call to go to the aid of a 36ft yacht which got into trouble and sought assistance 18 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork. They were under way within minutes and, travelling at its top speed of 25 knots, located the stricken vessel at 10.30pm, drifting with all power lost.
Members of the lifeboat crew attached a tow rope to the casualty and towed the yacht, which had four crew on board, back to Courtmacsherry Harbour. It was a slow return to base as safety was paramount and all arrived back to the pier pontoon in the village at 2.30am on Saturday morning, safe and sound.
The yacht was on a passage from the Isle of Wight when it lost power and the crew sent out the distress message to the Irish Coast Guard. It the first call-out that used the Courtmacsherry lifeboat station’s early warning message siren that will now be part of every call-out in order to alert persons in the water nearby or the public in the village that a lifeboat call-out is in progress.
It has been a very busy last six weeks at the station, which has seen seven successful call-outs to incidents at sea. The lifeboat station’s voluntary operations manager Brian O’Dwyer said ‘it’s been the busiest six weeks for many a year and many thanks to all the volunteers at the station for always putting the rescue of others ahead of all their other interests.’
He also stressed to all users of the waters over the busy August bank holiday weekend to be ever-vigilant on or near the sea or the inland waters and alert the Coast Guard at all times by dialling 999 or 112 if one observes someone in difficulty.
The crew on Friday night’s call-out were coxswain Sean O’Farrell, mechanic Tadgh McCarthy, Mark John Gannon, Denis Murphy, Paul McCarthy, Austin McKenna and Dean Hennessy.