Lifeboats 'rescue' yacht

By dAVID TUCKER

Rosslare and Wexford lifeboats come to the assistance of the yacht which ran aground off Wexford Harbour.
Rosslare and Wexford lifeboats come to the assistance of the yacht which ran aground off Wexford Harbour.

A 39ft wooden yacht which had run aground off Wexford Harbour with three men on board was brought to safety by Wexford and Rosslare Harbour RNLI on Sunday evening.

Volunteer lifeboat crew from both stations were requested to launch just before 7.30 p.m. following a report that a yacht had got into difficulty off Wexford Bar.

The 1925 ketch 'Lola' was on passage from Scotland to the south coast of England when it got stranded on the sand bank in the mouth to Wexford Harbour.

The inshore lifeboat from Wexford and the all-weather lifeboat from Rosslare were launched along with the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 from Waterford providing top cover.

Weather conditions at the time were described as fair with a Force 2-3 west to south westerly wind and a smooth sea state.

Once on scene at 7.38 p.m., the lifeboat crew observed that the vessel had damaged its steering gear and was stuck in a shallow area of Wexford Harbour. The crew from Wexford RNLI proceeded to take a tow line from Rosslare's lifeboat and pass it to the sailors of the vessel.

Using their training, both lifeboat crews worked together to release the yacht. The inshore lifeboat was able to use its shallow draft to manoeuvre the casualty and tow the vessel into deeper waters while the power of the Rosslare all-weather lifeboat ensured the tow was carried out effectively.

Once in safer waters, Rosslare RNLI then towed the vessel to Rosslare Port where it was safely secured at at 9.45pm.

Lorraine Galvin, Wexford RNLI LPO said: 'This call out involved teamwork with our colleagues from Rosslare Harbour RNLI as we worked together and depended on each other to successfully release the yacht.

'The sailors did the right to raise the alarm when they started to encounter problems because time was of the essence. While the water may have appeared flat calm, in another couple of hours things could have changed dramatically in that area of the harbour.'

Rosslare Lifeboat PRO Jamie Ryan said that after spending the night at Rosslare Port, the crew of the 'Lola' resumed their voyage yesterday (Monday) morning.

Wexford People

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