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Fethard RNLI rescue three people onboard 17 foot open boat that washed ashore

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer lifeboat crew with Fethard RNLI were launched this morning (Saturday 6 August 2016) at 8.57 am to reports of a 17ft punt with three people onboard in difficulty off Keeragh Island in Wexford.

The boat had no anchor and was getting washed ashore on Ballyteigue beach when the lifeboat crew intervened and brought the crew and vessel to safety.

The alarm was raised when the punt suffered engine failure early this morning and Fethard RNLI was requested to launch by the Coast Guard. The initial location for the vessel was reported as a half mile north-east of Keeragh Island. However once the lifeboat was on scene they were not able to locate the vessel, whose VHF aerial was broken and the search was extended.  A short time later the lifeboat crew spotted the vessel getting washed ashore in the surf on Ballyteigue beach.

The punt appeared to have no anchor and was in danger of getting beached. Two of its crew had left the vessel and where trying to prevent it getting completely beached. As the Fethard lifeboat approached the shore one of the lifeboat crew got into the surf and turned the punt around to establish a tow between it and the lifeboat.  Once this was secured the lifeboat towed the vessel with the three crew onboard to the Coalyard at Cullenstown.

Commenting on the callout Fethard RNLI Deputy Launching Authority Hugh Burke said, ‘the changing nature of this callout meant that the lifeboat crew and to react quickly to ensure a successful outcome, at one stage towing the punt through a very narrow channel between sandbars. I would urge all boat operators to ensure that they have a properly working anchor on their vessel and a means of calling for help.  The most benign situations can turn in the blink of an eye and in these cases every second counts.  Thankfully the weather was good and the lifeboat crew were able to assist and bring both the crew and the boat safely home.’

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RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Rebecca Doyle Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Fethard RNLI Tel: 087 9285594 or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email: Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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