Baltimor, Co Cork: 21 Crew Members Of Fastnet Racing Yacht Rescued

16 Aug

NEWS UPDATE:

The US owner and several of the 21 crew members of the Rambler 100 yacht are returning to the vessel this afternoon to try to retrieve belongings, including passports.

Rambler 100 overturned off Cork coast

Rambler 100 overturned off Cork coast

Rescue operation was launched after an emergency satellite warning system was activated

Rescue operation was launched after an emergency satellite warning system was activated

Five crew had been in the waters for three hours

Five crew had been in the waters for three hours

The Baltimore lifeboat during the rescue of crew from the yacht (pic: RNLI)

The Baltimore lifeboat during the rescue of crew from the yacht (pic: RNLI)

Baltimore - All 21 crew members rescued safely (Pic: RNLI)

Baltimore – All 21 crew members rescued safely (Pic: RNLI)

Yacht had been taking part in the Fastnet race

Yacht had been taking part in the Fastnet race

Play Stop

The US owner and several of the 21 crew members of the Rambler 100 yacht, which capsized off the Cork coast yesterday while taking part in the Fastnet race, are returning to the vessel this afternoon to try to retrieve belongings, including passports.

An assessment will also be made on whether to sink or tow the yacht.

The LE Aoife remains on standby at the scene, as the yacht remains a navigational hazard.

All of the crew members are recovering from their ordeal.

A woman who was suffering from hypothermia is out of intensive care at Tralee General Hospital and has recovered.

Five crew had been in the waters for three hours before being rescued by the crew of a private vessel.

The remaining 16 sought refuge on the hull and were brought to safety by the emergency services.

The Rambler 100, a multi-million euro racing yacht, had been taking part in the Fastnet race when it overturned after its keel cracked. The yacht overturned in less than 15 seconds.

The rescue operation was launched after an emergency satellite warning system was activated.

The yacht’s owner, George David, said the stainless steel keel fin had fractured, but the cause was as yet unknown.

Crew member Earl Williams said the yacht had just rounded Fastnet Rock when the incident occurred.

Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland, Mr Williams said he heard a big bang before the vessel began to capsize.

He said a number of the crew were below deck at the time and were lucky to have escaped.

He described the experience as very scary but was greatly relieved that everyone had been rescued safely.

Coveney commends rescue effort

The Minister for the Marine, Simon Coveney, has commended the rescue services for their work last night.

‘This was a dramatic sea rescue that was co-ordinated with speed and professionalism and everybody involved should be commended for their efforts,’ a statement from the minister said.

‘This is a reminder of just how important it is for Ireland to have a well resourced sea rescue infrastructure.’

He added: ‘The Fastnet race is one of the most high-profile offshore yacht races in the world and Rambler 100 is one of the best known racing yachts on the planet.

‘This incident will be reported in the international press and we can be proud of the way in which Irish emergency services contributed to preventing any loss of life.’

———————

The Baltimore RNLI lifeboat crew rescued 21 people after a yacht capsized during …

The Baltimore RNLI lifeboat crew rescued 21 people after a yacht capsized during the Fastnet Race off Co Cork (RNLI/PA)
More than 20 crew on board a racing yacht are recovering following a dramatic rescue when the boat capsized off the Irish coast.

The US-registered boat, Rambler 100, was taking part in the Fastnet Race when it overturned about 16 miles from Baltimore, Co Cork, just before 6pm on Monday.

One woman was airlifted to hospital after spending several hours in the water. She is believed to have been suffering from hypothermia.

The RNLI said 16 crew members were sitting on the hull of the 100ft vessel and five were missing when a lifeboat from Baltimore arrived at the scene just after 8pm. A local dive team picked the remaining survivors out of the water.

Kieron Cotter, coxswain of the volunteer crew, said: “We picked the 16 people off the hull and took them on board the lifeboat, with our dinghy going back and forth, and organised for other boats in the area to search for the missing five.

Mr Cotter, whose crew was on an exercise in the area, said the sea was not rough but visibility was down to one mile as they searched for the stricken yacht and crew.

“Eventually somebody saw something in the distance and it was them,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it before in 36 years with the RNLI. It was totally amazing. They told us five other yachts had passed within a mile and hadn’t seen them.”

Mr Cotter said the keel of the boat broke shortly after it passed the Fastnet Rock, causing it to overturn within 15 seconds and throwing everyone overboard.

The Irish Coast Guard co-ordinated the major rescue operation, which involved Baltimore RNLI, the Shannon and Waterford-based rescue helicopters, and Irish Naval vessel the LE Ciara.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club‘s biennial event takes the fleet 608 miles along the south coast of the UK and across the Celtic Sea to the Fastnet Rock off south-west Ireland, before returning around the Scilly Isles to the finish in Plymouth.

NEWS UPDATE:

The Coast Guard has said all crew from an overturned yacht off the Co Cork coast are now accounted for.

Rescue - The Baltimore lifeboat during the rescue of crew from the yacht (pic: RNLI)

Rescue – The Baltimore lifeboat during the rescue of crew from the yacht (pic: RNLI)

Baltimore - 20 crew were taken back by the lifeboat with one airlifed to hospital (pic: RNLI)

Baltimore – 20 crew were taken back by the lifeboat with one airlifed to hospital (pic: RNLI)

Nine News: Major air and sea rescue operation underway in Cork
 

The Coast Guard has said that all 21 people onboard a yacht which overturned off the Co Cork coast are now accounted for.

20 were taken back to the harbour on the Baltimore lifeboat while another crew member was airlifted to Tralee Hospital to receive medical attention.

It is understood that the yacht involved was taking part in the Fastnet Race and was found overturned almost 20km off the coast.

The yacht capsized at approximately 5.30pm with the Coast Guard receiving a sattelite message to say the vessel was in distress around an hour later.

The Baltimore lifeboat found 16 members of the crew on the hull of the upturned vessel; they had been there for approximately three hours according to the RNLI.

The five others crew members had drifted away from the yacht but had managed to tether themselves together in the water.

They were later spotted by the Baltimore deputy mechanic, who had taken his own Dive boat to join in the search.

The 20 who were taken ashore by the Balitmore lifeboat were taken to the local sailing club to be assessed.

Baltimore RNLI Coxswain Keiron Cotter said it was extremely hard to spot the yacht in the water and other vessels in the Fastnet race had passed nearby without seeing them.

‘We saw a light in the distance and did not know what it was so we went closer to investigate it…. When we got nearer we saw that it was a torch the casualties were flashing to attract attention.

‘Our priority was to get them back to shore as quickly as possible.’

NEWS UPDATE:

A TRAGEDY on the scale of the 1979 Fastnet Race disaster was narrowly avoided last night after a yacht taking part in the famous race capsized 20km off Baltimore, Co Cork.

Some 21 people were rescued from the 100ft US-registered Rambler 100 yacht, which was taking part in the race from Cowes to Fastnet and back to Plymouth, when it capsized in force five winds just after 6.20pm.

A satellite distress signal was emitted from the vessel after it overturned and the Irish Coast Guard launched a large air and sea rescue operation.

At one stage as many as 10 people were feared missing. However, a spokesperson for the coastguard confirmed just before 9pm that 16 people were sitting on the hull of the upturned vessel, while the remainder were in a life raft.

Following notification of the incident, both the Shannon and Waterford Coast Guard helicopters were dispatched, while the Baltimore Lifeboat and the Castletownbere Coast Guard also attended the scene. Naval patrol ship the LÉ Ciara also assisted in the rescue arriving on the scene just before 9pm.

It is understood that the keel of the vessel broke just after passing the Fastnet, causing it to overturn within seconds.

Operations manager with the Irish Coast Guard Declan Geoghegan said all 21 survivors were safe and well but there was no information as to why the vessel capsized.

“We’ve located 16 casualties on the upturned hull and five people in a life raft,” he said. “The 16 casualties are on the Baltimore lifeboat and the other five casualties are on board a yacht which plucked them from the life raft.”.”

There were emotional scenes in Baltimore, where crowds gathered on the pier and applauded as the Baltimore RNLI crew came ashore with 16 rescued sailors. Onlookers said they had feared a repeat of the 1979 disaster. Four more sailors were brought ashore by a boat belonging to one of the lifeboat’s crew members.

It is understood the Shannon Coast Guard helicopter airlifted one woman to Farranfore Airport, from where she was transferred to Kerry General Hospital in Tralee last night.

Sea conditions at the time of the incident were described as not particularly rough. However, the rescue operation had to contend with foggy conditions which hampered visibility.

Keywords:  

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: