#YACHTRESCUE–Two yachts in difficulty were brought to safety by the RNLI lifeboat stationed at Dun Laoghaire earlier today as gale force winds and driving rain lashed the east coast of Ireland. The incidents occurred at 8am today as the boats were returning from an offshore race on the Irish Sea.
The Irish Coastguard's Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC) Dublin received the calls for assistance from the boats and requested that the RNLI All-Weather lifeboat (ALB) at Dun Laoghaire launch to assist the crews that were unable to enter the harbour.
One of the boats had earlier fouled its propeller and was unable to use power for entering harbour and berthing while the other boat that was travelling in its company couldn't start it's engine due to battery problems. A heavy swell driven by near-gale force 7 winds with higher gusts blowing from the East caused a large swell and steep waves on approach to Dun Laoghaire.
The RNLI lifeboat launched with seven volunteer crew and proceeded to sea where visibility was reduced to less than one mile. The first yacht with seven people on board was standing-by half a mile from the harbour entrance while the second was further south off Dalkey. The yacht entered the harbour where the lifeboat took it alongside and towed it to a marina berth.
The operation was repeated 30 minutes later for the second casualty that had five people on board. Both boats were approximately 35 feet in length. Nobody was hurt in either incident and the lifeboat returned to station shortly before 10am.
"The casualties in these incidents were both prepared for offshore conditions but unforeseen circumstances meant they needed the assistance of the lifeboat on this occasion," commented Mark McGibney, RNLI Coxswain at Dun Laoghaire who was in charge of this morning's operation.