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Wicklow RNLI assist lone sailor after distress call

Lifeboats News Release

Wicklow RNLI all-weather lifeboat launched this afternoon at 2-30pm (19 June) after the Coast Guard received a marine VHF radio distress signal from a yacht six miles off the Wicklow coast.

The French lone sailor was on passage from France to Norway, when the twin rudder suffered damaged and he was unable to steer the vessel.

The lifeboat was alongside the casualty thirty minutes after launching. Rescue 116, the Coast Guard helicopter was also tasked to the incident. The helicopter remained overhead while lifeboat volunteer Ciaran Doyle was transferred onto the yacht, to assist the sailor with hauling an anchor and preparing a towline.
Weather conditions at the time were sea state rough with southerly wind force 5/6. Visibility was good.
With a towline established the ten metre yacht was taken back to Wicklow harbour. Due to the conditions at the time, the journey took over ninety minutes as the line parted on three occasions.

The yacht was safely alongside the south quay at 5pm on Sunday evening.
Speaking after the callout, Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer Tommy Dover said. ‘Our Coxswain Nick Keogh displayed great boat handling skills this afternoon in challenging conditions, while safely transferring a crewmember onto the yacht to assist the lone sailor.’

This was the second callout over the weekend. On Saturday morning during the Round Ireland Yacht Race, Wicklow RNLI Helm Vinnie Mulvihill was busy preparing the inshore lifeboat for exercise. He heard a person on the East pier shouting that someone was in the water. Quick thinking Vinnie left the boat and entered the water to assist the women after she slipped and fell in while going ashore from a moored boat.

Vinnie brought the women alongside a nearby boat and with the help of the occupants; she was taken out of the water. The woman was brought to the lifeboat station and assessed by first aider Carol Flahive. No further medical assistance was required. She left the station none the worse from her ordeal after a cup of tea and changing into dry clothes.

Ends


Notes to Editors
Please find attached a photo of Vinnie Mulvihill taking the woman from the water. (Photo: Milo Vanbeck) and Wicklow lifeboat bring the French yacht into Wicklow harbour. Photo/Wicklow RNLI.

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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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