Lifeboat called to yacht in Fastnet Race

The damaged yacht back in Courtmacsherry

THE Courtmacsherry RNLI all weather lifeboat was called out at 3.21 am this morning Wednesday to go to the immediate aid of a 40 foot yacht that sought assistance 13 miles off the Galley Head in West Cork. The casualty with 10 persons on board was participating in the Fastnet Race and was disabled with a broken mast which put it in danger.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat under coxswain Sean O’Farrell plus a crew of seven volunteers launched immediately and in the pitch of darkness located the stricken yacht at 4.45am.

Once on the scene, the lifeboat assessed the difficulties with the causality and the immediate task was to secure a towline to the towering yacht in order to stabilise the boat.

It was then towed back at a slow speed to the safe haven of the Courtmacsherry inner harbour.

All 10 crew of the racing yacht are reported to be good condition after their early morning trauma and both the lifeboat and yacht arrived to the inner harbour at Courtmacsherry just after 8am after a three-hour tow from the causality site 13 miles east of the Galley Head.

The yacht under tow

Conditions at sea early this morning had north west winds in the area blowing force three to four. The yacht was participating in the famous Fastnet Race and was one of a whole fleet of yachts that approached the turn at the Fastnet Rock during the night.

The crew on board this mornings callout were coxswain Sean O’Farrell, mechanic Chris Guy and crew Ken Cashman, Ciaran Hurley, Dara Gannon, Denis Murphy, Kieran Boyle and Evin O’Sullivan.

Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Station Voluntary Operations Manager Brian O’Dwyer paid tribute to the 16 Crew and Officers of the station that left their beds in middle of the night to organise and participate in this callout to a participant in one of the world’s most famous races that runs from Cowes on the Isle of White, turning at the Fastnet Rock and back to Plymouth.