Lone sailor rescued off coast of Co Down

Portaferry RNLI Bluepeter V
Portaferry RNLI Bluepeter V

A lone sailor was rescued from a grounded yacht off the County Down coast in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Agencies answered a mayday call from a lone male sailor on board a 20-meter yacht which had become grounded on rocks at Phennick Point just outside Ardglass.

Portaferry RNLI, the All-Weather Lifeboat from Newcastle and the Newcastle Coastguard team took part.

In testing conditions, the man had become grounded on the rocks in rough seas with a three to four meter swell.

Due to the position of the casualty vessel on dangerous rocks and fishing gear in the area, the Newcastle RNLI crew on board the larger All-Weather Lifeboat were unable to get close enough to lift the man off the stricken yacht.

The volunteer RNLI crew from Portaferry on board the smaller Inshore Life Boat were able to manoeuvre their boat through the rocks and rough seas to eventually lift the man from the rocks into the lifeboat.

Once on-board, the volunteer crew proceeded with the man to Ardglass Marina where he was safely handed over to the Newcastle Coastguard team.

An Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter had also been requested earlier but later stood down.

The volunteer crew form Portaferry RNLI then departed the scene at 4.36am returning to their station 4.55am,.

Simon Rogers, Portaferry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: “In testing conditions, the hard work and dedication of all the agencies involved in this morning’s incident prevailed with a successful outcome. The volunteers from Newcastle and Portaferry RNLI, along with the Coastguard teams on scene worked well together to insure this man was returned safely to shore. Anyone who would like any information on safety on the water can find further details on our website www.rnli.org”