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Rosslare Harbour RNLI Rescues Two Onboard 12m French Racing Yacht That Runs Aground  

31st May 2018
Once on scene the lifeboat crew checked that the two onboard were safe and well before attempting to tow the vessel off the rocks Once on scene the lifeboat crew checked that the two onboard were safe and well before attempting to tow the vessel off the rocks

Rosslare Harbour RNLI rescued a man and woman from a 12m French racing yacht which ran aground last night during the Normandy Channel Race.

The yacht which had successfully rounded the Tuskar Rock and was making its way towards the Fastnet Rock, ran aground onto rocks off Carnesore Point while also getting its propeller tangled in lobster pots.

The race, as Afloat.ie reported previously, is a French Classe 40 1,000 mile passage race to and from Caen in Britanny. 

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 10.46pm last night (Wednesday 29 May) and the lifeboat under Coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke made its way to the scene some five nautical miles from the station.

Weather conditions at the time were good with no wind and a flat calm sea.

Once on scene the lifeboat crew checked that the two onboard were safe and well before attempting to tow the vessel off the rocks. However, due to a lack of wind to sail and a low tide, the attempt in the shallow rocky area had to be abandoned until the early of hours this morning. The lifeboat crew decided to take the man and woman off the yacht and bring them back to shore in Rosslare where they arrived at the lifeboat station at 3am, for a short respite. 

The lifeboat launched once again at 4.50am and once on scene, the lifeboat crew was able to launch the smaller inflatable Y class boat, to access the yacht which was on the rocks. The crew then managed to cut the tangled rope from the propeller before working to free the yacht from the rocks. The vessel was then able to proceed unaided on her return passage back to France.

Speaking following the call outs, Jamie Ryan, Rosslare Harbour RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘Unfortunately this was the end of the race for the crew onboard the racing yacht but we would like to wish them a safe passage home.

‘While the weather was good, the shallow rocky area where the vessel got into difficulty did make this call out initially challenging along with the fact that there was a low tide and no wind. Essentially it meant our volunteers had to launch the lifeboat twice, first late last night and once again in the early hours of this morning.

‘As we approach the summer, we would remind everyone planning a trip to sea to always respect the water. Check weather and tide times in advance and do routine checks on your vessel. Always wear a lifejacket and always carry a means of communication. Should you get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Afloat.ie Team

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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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