Skerries RNLI assist lone sailor on grounded yacht

Skerries RNLI volunteer crew members assisting yacht grounded near rush


Skerries RNLI launched shortly before 7pm yesterday evening (Thursday 27 June) to go to the assistance of an 11 metre yacht with one person on board that had run aground north of Rush harbour.

Dublin Coast Guard requested Skerries RNLI to launch after two members of the public, who had been out kayaking, reported that the yacht was in difficulty.

Weather conditions at the time were a force one to two wind with calm seas. The lifeboat helmed by Willie Boylan and with crew members Conor Walsh, Karl Duff and Peter Kennedy on board, was on scene in less than 10 minutes. However, by that time the casualty was completely aground above the tide line.

Two volunteer crew members were put ashore to assess the casualty. There was only one person on board and he was not in any immediate danger. There also appeared to be no significant damage to the hull of the boat.

The crew members laid out an anchor from the vessel to ensure that it did not drift onto the nearby rocks when it began to float again. The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 was also on scene briefly to ensure that no assistance was required.

With the tide still falling, the decision was taken for the lifeboat to return later after the tide had turned to ensure that the yacht floated safely and to assist in helping it safely back to a harbour.

At 10.20pm the volunteer crew launched the lifeboat again, this time with Conor Walsh at the helm with Karl Duff, Eoin Grimes and Emma Wilson as crew. They made their way back to the grounded yacht bringing a salvage pump with them.

One of the crew was put ashore to check on the casualty again and to secure a tow line to the boat. As the tide rose, the lifeboat kept the tension on the tow to prevent the yacht being pushed further on to the rocks. At 11.45pm the yacht was refloated and guided back to Skerries harbour with the lifeboat leading the way to help navigate around the islands safely in the dark.

Speaking after, Niall McGrotty, Skerries RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'There didn’t appear to be much damage and the conditions were calm. However, it was a large boat with a lot of equipment on board, so there were some concerns around whether it would refloat successfully. Thankfully, it did and everyone made it home safe and sound'.