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Kilmore Quay Lifeboat Rescues Four From Sinking Yacht 50 Miles Off Wexford Coast

12th August 2021
Kilmore Quay RNLI attending to the yacht with rudder damage 50 miles off Wexford
Kilmore Quay RNLI attending to the yacht with rudder damage 50 miles off Wexford Credit: RNLI/Kilmore Quay

Kilmore Quay RNLI rescued four people early this morning (Thursday 12 August) after their yacht got into difficulty and subsequently sank 50 miles off the Wexford coast.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather Tamar class lifeboat Killarney at 2.44am to attend to the 14m yacht which had sustained a damaged rudder 50 miles south of Kilmore Quay while on passage from Dublin to Vigo in Spain.

Under coxswain Eugene Kehoe and with four crew onboard, the lifeboat immediately launched and made its way to the scene. They were updated on the way that the yacht’s crew had made the decision to turn back and slowly make their way to Kilmore Quay.

Arriving at the location at 5.30am, the lifeboat crew checked that all onboard the yacht were safe and well before assessing its situation. It was decided to set up a towline and return the vessel to the nearest port which was Kilmore Quay.

As the yacht began to take on water, the lifeboat crew placed a salvage pump on the vessel. But such was the speed at which the vessel was taking on water, it was not enough to deal with the situation.

A second salvage pump was requested by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter from Waterford, Rescue 117, which was also tasked to the scene.

However, it was decided at this stage to remove the four people from the yacht and transfer them safely onto Kilmore Quay RNLI’s lifeboat. The yacht subsequently sank.

The lifeboat brought the four casualties safely back to Kilmore Quay where they arrived at around 11am.

Speaking following the call out, Kilmore Quay RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager John Grace said: “It is always sad when a vessel is lost at sea but thankfully the crew onboard the yacht was safely rescued and are now back on shore.

“The casualties did the right thing in raising the alarm when they encountered problems in the early hours of this morning which helped to prevent the situation from becoming much worse.

“Despite the best efforts of everyone on scene, the vessel took on a lot of water. Our priority then was to ensure that the casualties were taken off the yacht and transferred safely on to the lifeboat.

“We would like to wish the casualties well following their ordeal this morning and we would like to commend our volunteers who despite the early call and darkness of night, did not hesitate to respond.”

The lifeboat crew involved in this callout were coxswain Eugene Kehoe, mechanic Philip Walsh and crew members Aidan Bates, Sean Furlong and Nigel Kehoe.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats, Rescue
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Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.

FAQs

While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset

 

While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

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