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Ballycotton Lifeboat In 10-Hour Callout To Assist Fastnet Yacht Rescue

11th August 2017
Ballycotton RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Ballycotton RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Photo: RNLI/Ballycotton

#RNLI - Ballycotton RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat on Wednesday afternoon (9 August) to aid a yacht in difficulty some 84 miles south of the East Cork village.

Vencom, a Ker 39 with 10 people onboard, was returning from the Fastnet Race when it lost its rudder and was unable to steer.

The resulting support by Ballycotton RNLI saw the volunteer lifeboat crew on service for over 10 hours, eventually returning home to Ballycotton shortly after 11.30pm.

St Mary’s lifeboat from the Isles of Scilly was also requested to launch and was first to arrive on scene at 4.15pm, half an hour before the Ballycotton crew.

The St Mary’s volunteers put Vencom under tow and began to take the vessel back ashore to Scilly. 

However, the yacht began manoeuvring violently while under tow and was unable to hold a straight line behind the lifeboat, requiring assistance from the Ballycotton lifeboat.

The Cork crew agreed to pass a casualty drogue to the yacht, which enabled it to remain in a towable position and under control.

Once confirmed that the casualty vessel and St Mary’s lifeboat were safe and in a stable towing position, the Ballycotton lifeboat returned to station.

Commenting on the callout, Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh said: “This was the furthest offshore rescue that I personally have ever been requested to, and it was a pleasure to be able to assist the crew of the Vencom. 

“We would like to commend both the crew members onboard the yacht who were all wearing suitable lifejackets and also thank the crew on board the St Mary’s lifeboat for their efforts in ensuring a positive outcome for all involved.” 

Walsh added: “I would also like to thank my volunteer crew who, despite a very long and tiring launch, remained focussed on bringing everyone home safely.”

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