RNLI rescues lone sailor after yacht breaks down in Irish Sea

Portaferry RNLI rescued a lone sailor last night after his 25ft yacht got into difficulty in the Irish Sea.

By Duncan Elder
Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 4:20 pm
The RNLI crew go to the rescue of the stricken yacht.
The RNLI crew go to the rescue of the stricken yacht.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 8.51pm following a request from Belfast Coastguard to go to the aid of an overdue sailing vessel that had sustained engine failure and had one man onboard.

The lifeboat, helmed by Paul Mageean and with three crew members onboard, launched immediately and made its way to the scene at South Rock close to Cloughey Bay. The Coastguard helicopter Rescue 199 from Prestwick was also tasked.

Weather conditions at the time were good with a Force 2 westerly wind and a calm sea state.

Once on scene, two lifeboat crew members were transferred onto the yacht to assess that the sailor was safe and well before proceeding to set up a tow. The yacht was then safely towed back to Portavogie Harbour.

Speaking following the call out, Portaferry RNLI Helm Paul Mageean said: "We are pleased with the outcome of this call out as it could have been a lot worse for the man onboard as the sailing vessel was close to one of the shipping channels when we arrived on scene. This call out showed good teamwork between ourselves in the RNLI and our colleagues in the Coastguard.

"As we approach the summer, we would remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always respect the water. Always check your boat and engine ahead of your trip, always let someone ashore know where you are going and when you are due back and always carry a means of communication. Always wear a lifejacket and should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, call 999 or 112 and for the Coastguard."