rnli – A sailor with suspected spinal injuries on a dismasted yacht is receiving hospital treatment this afternoon after a rescue operation on Dublin Bay involving the Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat and Irish Coast Guard helicopter.
The incident occurred shortly after 11am when the 33-foot yacht was taking part in a regular Sunday morning race on Dublin Bay. The mast snapped in the breezy conditions and hit the crew-member leading to concerns for a possible spinal injury.
The Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC) in Dublin was alerted and the RNLI lifeboat at Dun Laoghaire was requested to launch along with the Irish Coast Guard helicopter at Dublin Airport at 1108am. The disabled yacht was located midway between the West Pier and the South Bull Wall.
The operation was complicated by the collapsed rigging hanging over the side of the boat that prevented the crew from using the engine. Lifeboat crew were able to board the vessel to deliver first aid treatment and the winchman paramedic from the helicopter was transferred on board to assess the casualty.
To minimise movement and prevent a worsening of the suspected injury, it was decided that the yacht would be taken in tow by the lifeboat to shore where a waiting ambulance transferred the casualty to hospital for full assessment and treatment. The yacht was towed to a yacht club in Dun Laoghaire where the Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard unit winched the casualty to the waiting ambulance.