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Shipwrecked Sailor Rescued from Inishark Island By Clifden RNLI

21st September 2019
The yacht washed up on Inishark The yacht washed up on Inishark

In very challenging weather conditions yesterday evening, Clifden RNLI launched two lifeboats after the Coast Guard requested them to go to the aid of a lone sailor who had gone ashore on Inishark Island.

His 25-foot yacht had engine failure southeast of the island and was being smashed against the shoreline under the cliffs further southwest, where he had managed to make his way ashore.

See video of this rescue here

Clifden’s Shannon class all-weather lifeboat 13-21 Brianne Aldington slipped her moorings at 4.59 pm under Coxswain James Mullen and was on the scene at 5.25 pm, where the volunteer crew quickly located the yacht under the cliffs and spotted the skipper waving from the rocks above. The Atlantic 85 Joyce King was also on the scene by now and the decision was made to try to put a crew member ashore to assess the situation. Helm Alan Pryce conducted a veering down manoeuvre, which involves positioning the boat safely in difficult weather conditions by dropping anchor and using the rope and tension to keep the boat steady.

Inishark HelicopterThe Coastguard attend the scene

The Shannon lifeboat simultaneously provided some shelter from the southeast force 8 offshore wind and crew member Ian Shanahan was able to go ashore safely and assess the situation. The casualty appeared well but had sustained minor injuries during the ordeal so the Rescue 118 helicopter winched them both from the island and the casualty was transferred to Castlebar General Hospital. The severity of the weather meant that the yacht could not be recovered safely.

Both lifeboats returned to station at 7.20 pm and Coxswain James Mullen said “This callout was a very serious situation for a lone sailor whose equipment had failed and luckily he was able to raise the alarm by mobile phone. It really put into practice all of our combined training and seamanship skills and the rapid response times of both boats was remarkable. This was the first callout with the new Shannon Class lifeboat fully involved and it was great to be able to work together so well and effectively”.

See video of this rescue here

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Afloat.ie Team

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