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West Cork RNLI crews rescue two vessels in 24 hours

January 3rd, 2021 12:10 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

West Cork RNLI crews rescue two vessels in 24 hours Image
The stricken yacht as it is located off the Old Head of Kinsale

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Crews from both Courtmacsherry RNLI and Castletownbere RNLI  had a busy start to the New Year when they were involved in two separate rescue incidents within 24 hours of each other.

The Courtmacsherry all weather trent class RNLI Lifeboat was called out at 7am this morning to go to the aid of a 50 ft yacht with three people on board which had got into difficulties four miles east of the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The Courtmacsherry Llfeboat under Coxswain Mark Gannon and a crew of six were underway within minutes and in the cover of darkness, the lifeboat proceeded at top speed to the area of the causality.  The seas were blowing force 4 to 5 in freezing conditions this morning and the stricken vessel, which was on passage from Salcolme in the UK to Kinsale, had encountered heavy weather over the past 24 hours.

They lost complete power off the Old Head of Kinsale and requested immediate assistance. The lifeboat reached the yacht at 7.29 am and the lifeboat crew assessed the situation and quickly proceeded to attach a tow line to secure the vessel. Two lifeboat crew members Kevin Young and Paul McCarthy were also put on board the yacht to help those on board and the lifeboat then proceeded at slow speed to the safe surround of the inner Kinsale Harbour.

Both vessels docked safely at the Kinsale Yacht Club Marina at 9.05am and the crew on board the yacht were very glad to be on safe ground again after an eventful morning.

Commenting on the callout,  Operations Manager Brian O Dwyer thanked all the lifeboat crew members for their quick response from their beds early this freezing morning when the Coastguard activated the distress bleepers. He praised the great dedication of the seven volunteer Crew Members and others who arrived, and put the interests of others as a priority in these difficult Covid times. He again reiterated that it is so important to call the rescue services at 112 or 999 quickly once any incident occurs.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Crew involved in this morning’s callout were Coxswain Mark Gannon, Mechanic Tadgh McCarthy and crew Ken Cashman, Kevin Young, Paul McCarthy, Peter Noonan and Denis Murphy.

Meanwhile, the lifeboat crew at Castletownbere RNLI had their first call out for 2021 when they came out  to assist a 11 metre fishing boat which had lost power 18 miles south west of Castletownbere Harbour.

 The lifeboat, under coxswain Aaron O’Boyle was launched within minutes and located the stricken vessel 51 minutes later. The Castletownbere-based fishing boat had three people on board none of whom required medical attention. On scene, there was a three-metre swell and force 5/6 north-westerly winds. The volunteer lifeboat crew attached a tow rope and proceeded to tow the vessel to Castletownbere harbour where it was berthed at the pier at just before 8.00 p.m.

Commenting on callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Stevens said, ‘This was the first shout for the station in 2021 and the first call-out with Coxswain O’Boyle in command. He and the volunteer crew undertook the rescue with great skill and efficiency and there was a positive outcome.'


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