Sailor taken to hospital by air after yacht flips over in gale
Hundreds watch giant vessel tip, catapulting crewmen into the sea
THERE were dramatic scenes in Dublin Bay yesterday when a racing yacht capsized shortly after passing the starting line of the Route des Princes Grand Prix.
The race-winning multihull Spindrift, which was first into Dun Laoghaire from Lisbon last Wednesday, was blown over in gale-force winds in front of hundreds of alarmed spectators, throwing all 10 people on board into the water.
The RNLI all-weather lifeboat at Dun Laoghaire was launched to help the crew of the 70-foot vessel.
One man was airlifted to hospital with suspected back injuries shortly after the incident, which occurred at around 3pm.
Last night he remained in Tallaght Hospital, where his condition was unclear. Another crew member suffered less serious injuries.
Visitors to the free Route des Princes Festival on the East Pier looked on as a rescue mission got under way.
The lifeboat remained at the scene to co-ordinate the recovery of the trimaran, which was taken under slow tow into Dun Laoghaire harbour, where a mobile crane and the team's shore crew prepared to right it.
Triage for other injured racers was set up at the National Yacht Club.
Nine multi-hulls were taking part in the event as part of six races planned over the weekend. The festival will continue as normal today.
Meanwhile, the RNLI inshore lifeboat co-ordinated a search of Killiney Bay after a windsurf sail was spotted drifting south of Dalkey Island by a passing yacht.
Seven boats helped searched the area along with the rescue helicopter on its return from Tallaght.
After two hours, all units were stood down. A person later contacted the RNLI to confirm their windsurf sail had been blown out to sea.