The Ocean Youth Trust sail training yacht the Lord Rank sank this morning after hitting rocks off Ballycastle in Co Antrim. Six persons were rescued from the 70-foot ketch in a rescue operation that took just under four hours.The six, including three Downtown radio presenters, were rescued by lifeboat crews on Tuesday night after hitting rocks near Ballycastle. Those involved were all taking part in a charity fundraiser on board the Lord Rank when the boat ran aground off Kinbane Head shortly after 2200 BST.
Downtown Radio was broadcasting from the boat as part of the charity campaign. The six were landed at Ballycastle with no injuries. The Sligo based Irish Coast Guard helicopter also responded to the callout.
Five of the group were taken off the yacht by the Portrush RNLI lifeboat, which launched its Y boat to recover them. The Red Bay RNLI Atlantic inshore lifeboat took the sixth person off before transferring them to the Portrush lifeboat, which then brought them in to Ballycastle.Paddy McLaughlin, Red Bay RNLI helm said, “ Both Red Bay and Portrush RNLI lifeboats responded to the callout. Our priority was to get everyone off the stranded vessel as quickly as possible as it had hit rocks and the damage to the vessel was not known. That area has a strong tide and we wanted to ensure the safety of the skipper and the five passengers.”
The vessel sank a few hours later.
The Lord Rank was Ireland's only operational sail training vessel of any size since the Asgard II sank off the coast of France in 2008.