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... while blown away yacht is left high and dry

A YACHT skipper could only watch in horror as his pride-and-joy was dragged off rocks where it had been washed up overnight.

The 29ft vessel had been moored off-shore at the White Strand near Miltown Malbay, Co Clare, when it broke free of its mooring and was sent crashing onto the rocks after a night of high winds, leaving it damaged beyond repair. The yacht had been holed several times and left lying on its side.

Owner Alex Bikkes had stopped in White Strand to spend a few days at home in Miltown Malbay before continuing his voyage towards Cork.

Speaking at the scene, Mr Bikkes said: "I am in bits.I was going to set off again last night but decided not to.

"It was a present from my daughter."

Workers from L&M Keating Construction used a special excavator to secure the yacht and haul it up the rocks to a green area.

Mr Bikkes thanked those who helped, adding: "I'll have to take down the mast and all the rigging and try and get it home. Then I'll see what I can salvage."

Irish Independent