Fethard RNLI rescue three people onboard 17 foot open boat that washed ashore
Volunteer lifeboat crew with Fethard RNLI were launched this morning (Saturday 6 August 2016) at 8.57 am to reports of a 17ft punt with three people onboard in difficulty off Keeragh Island in Wexford.
The alarm was raised when the punt suffered engine failure early this morning and Fethard RNLI was requested to launch by the Coast Guard. The initial location for the vessel was reported as a half mile north-east of Keeragh Island. However once the lifeboat was on scene they were not able to locate the vessel, whose VHF aerial was broken and the search was extended. A short time later the lifeboat crew spotted the vessel getting washed ashore in the surf on Ballyteigue beach.
The punt appeared to have no anchor and was in danger of getting beached. Two of its crew had left the vessel and where trying to prevent it getting completely beached. As the Fethard lifeboat approached the shore one of the lifeboat crew got into the surf and turned the punt around to establish a tow between it and the lifeboat. Once this was secured the lifeboat towed the vessel with the three crew onboard to the Coalyard at Cullenstown.
Commenting on the callout Fethard RNLI Deputy Launching Authority Hugh Burke said, ‘the changing nature of this callout meant that the lifeboat crew and to react quickly to ensure a successful outcome, at one stage towing the punt through a very narrow channel between sandbars. I would urge all boat operators to ensure that they have a properly working anchor on their vessel and a means of calling for help. The most benign situations can turn in the blink of an eye and in these cases every second counts. Thankfully the weather was good and the lifeboat crew were able to assist and bring both the crew and the boat safely home.’
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For more information please contact Rebecca Doyle Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Fethard RNLI Tel: 087 9285594 or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email: Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org
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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
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