Sunday 22 April 2018

'If another hour had passed the outcome may not have been so successful' - three rescued from yacht

Volunteer lifeboat crew with Rosslare RNLI launched this morning during Storm Ophelia to rescue three men onboard a 10m yacht after they issued a Mayday
Volunteer lifeboat crew with Rosslare RNLI launched this morning during Storm Ophelia to rescue three men onboard a 10m yacht after they issued a Mayday
Storm scenes at Tramore Co. Waterford. Picture Dylan Vaughan
Hurricane Ophelia hitting Fenit in County Kerry. Photo: Mark Condren
16/9/17 Gardai, the coastguard and the RNLI helicopter at Blackrock in Co Louth where windsurfers were surfing during storm Ophelia. Picture: Arthur Carron
16/10/2017 Ophelia arriving in Galway. Quick walk on the prom ahead of the Hurricane . Photo:Andrew Downes
16-10-17 Storm scenes at Tramore Co. Waterford. Picture Dylan Vaughan
Provision 161017 Hurricane 'Ophelia'.... fallen tree Knocknaheeny, Cork City Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Ophelia Storm strikes in Baltimore, West Cork. Photo. Emma Jervis Photography
Hurricane 'Ophelia'.... fallen trees, N25 Cork City Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Walkers in Clontarf pictured this afternoon as Hurricane Ophelia hits the country..Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
A tree blocks the road at Killbritain Co Cork. Picture Denis Boyle
(Photo: Met Eireann)
A surfer is seen on rough water in the Atlantic in an area where the tide should be out in the County Clare town of Lahinch, Ireland October 15, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Pictured getting ready for hurricane Ophelia at Courtmacsherry Bay West Cork was Martin Galvin and his son Adam. Their seaside home at Lobster Cottage sits in Courtmacsherry Bay with County Cork expected to be among the worst effected counties. Picture Denis Boyle
Angus Bourke from Castlebar, Co. Mayo a member of Mayo Sailing Club preparaing his boat at Rosmoney, Westport, Co. Mayo before Storm Ophelia. Photo : Keith Heneghan / Phocus.
Met Eireann forecaster Evelyn Cusack at the National Emergency Coordination Centre today. Photo: Mark Condren
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Three men on board a yacht have been rescued off the coast of Rosslare this afternoon during Storm Ophelia.

A volunteer lifeboat crew with Rosslare RNLI launched to rescue three men onboard a 10m yacht after they issued a Mayday call this morning at 10.04am. 

The crew had been trying to get to safety since the early hours and had attempted to gain entry to a few harbours but were constantly pushed back by winds and tides, according to the RNLI.

Ten miles offshore from Rosslare and getting battered by the worsening weather they issued a Mayday.

Rosslare Harbour lifeboat, under the command of Coxswain Eamon O’Rourke launched with six volunteer crew and made the journey out to help the three men. 

Conditions were extremely challenging with force nine winds with a 6m sea swell according to the RNLI.

The lifeboat crew made slow progress in the heavy weather but brought all three men safely ashore after 2pm at Rosslare Harbour.

"I am extremely proud of our crew. When the pagers went off this morning, as the storm was beginning to take hold, we had seven lifeboat crew down immediately to the station with a further six in reserve. Conditions were very unpleasant out there and we needed to get those three men to safety as quickly as possible.’

"The crew of the yacht had been trying to come ashore since the early hours but were pushed back and ultimately unsuccessful.  When the lifeboat crew reached them they were side on to the weather, taking a ferocious pounding and in danger of getting overwhelmed.  I think if another hour had passed this story may not have had such a successful outcome."

Earlier today rescue crews launched at 10.20am following a Mayday call off the coast of Blackrock, Co Louth.

Rescue 116, Greenore CG and Clogherhead Lifeboat all attended the scene, Clogherhead RNLI confirmed to Independent.ie.

The spokesperson said the two men are now "on-shore, safe and well."

A spokesperson for the Irish Coast Guard said reports had initially stated that the two were kite-surfers but it has been confirmed that it was two wind-surfers.

He added the crews are making a general recommendation that people do not venture towards the coast while the Met Éireann red status warning for Ophelia is now in place.

Members of the RNLI were also deployed off the Galway coast to recover a yacht, while a tug boat was used to escort two people into Rosslare harbour, Co Wexford.

Eugene Clonan of the Irish Coast Guard reiterated calls for people to stay away from the coastline and waters.

"I'd like to reiterate for recreational users to stay off the water. His is an unprecedented weather system that we're going through. We have not experienced this before and we want people to stay safe. We urge people to stay away from the coastline," Mr Clonan said at a press briefing of the National Emergency Coordination Group this afternoon.

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