Three rescued as yacht sinks

By Maria Pepper

A tragedy was averted when three people from the UK were airlifted to safety from a life raft after their yacht sank off the Saltee Islands on Saturday afternoon.

A may day call was received by the Marine Rescue Coordination Centre in Dublin at approximately 4,30 pm after the yacht Inishmore began taking on water south east of the Great Saltee.

The occupants, two men and a woman evacuated the 39ft vessel and took to a life raft, issuing a distress call.

The Coastguard helicopter Rescue 117 and Kilmore Quay Lifeboat rushed to the scene. The three sailors were already in the life raft when they arrived as the yacht had gone quickly beneath the waters.

They were winched aboard the helicopter and transported to Waterford Airport for a medical examination but did not require hospital treatment.

It was not possible to recover the yacht which sank shortly afterwards in 10ft swells near the Saltee Islands. The vessel had quickly taken in water after a toilet broke.

The Coastguard was praised for for its quick response. After the alarm was raised, the Rescue 117 helicopter mobilised from Waterford Airport without delay and was on the scene within minutes, managing to take the yacht crew from the water.

Members of the Kilmore Quay Lifeboat assisted at the scene, going on board the sinking yacht in an unsuccessful attempt to pump water from the vessel. The life raft was recovered.

Declan Geoghegan from the Irish Coastguard said: 'They didn't require medical attention. The yacht was unable to be salvaged and is now sunk.'

Meanwhile, a yacht with a lone sailor on board was brought to safety by Wexford RNLI over the weekend.

The vessel ran aground on its way into Wexford Harbour on Sunday afternoon. Lifeboat volunteers Damien Foley, Mavid Maguire and Robbie Connolly quickly towed the casualty to safety.

Wexford People

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