Skerries RNLI come to the rescue of stricken yacht and its crew


Skerries RNLI towed a 34 foot yacht with two men on board to safety at the weekend after the yacht suffered mechanical failure with its engine.

hortly after 12pm last Friday afternoon, Dublin Coast Guard received a VHF call from a 34 foot yacht reporting that they had suffered a mechanical failure and had lost both drive and steering. They were situated approximately 2 miles north east of Lambay island and were in need of assistance.

The volunteers in Skerries launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat “Louis Simson” and headed for Lambay island. Dublin Coast Guard then updated the lifeboat with GPS co-ordinates that had been provided by the stricken vessel. These co-ordinates were entered into the navigation system, enabling the crew to plot a course directly to the yacht.

Once the lifeboat arrived on scene, the Helm carried out a risk assessment and decided that the safest course of action would be to tow the vessel to the nearest suitable berth in Malahide marina. The crew communicated their intentions to the men over VHF radio. A towing bridle was rigged on board the yacht before a line was passed from the lifeboat, establishing an astern tow.

An hour later, as the lifeboat approached the entrance to Malahide estuary, the tow was reconfigured, bringing the yacht alongside the lifeboat. This enabled the lifeboat to have greater directional control over the casualty vessel as it maneuvered its way up the narrow channel towards the Marina before gently bringing it alongside at the pontoon.

Once the casualty vessel was safely alongside, the lifeboat navigated out of the estuary and headed for Skerries, arriving back at station almost 3 hours after they had launched. The lifeboat was washed down, refuelled and made ready for it’s next service.

Conditions at the time were calm with a force two Southerly wind.

Speaking about the call out, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Skerries RNLI, Gerry Canning said: “When you hear that there is a swimmer in difficulty you are immediately concerned as they are already in the water, so every second counts.

“The crew assembled very rapidly, and shore crew and tractor driver did a great job launching the boat safely and quickly. The member of the public who made the prompt 999 call and directed the lifeboat in the direction of the casualties played a big part too. It’s a great outcome from a serious situation”

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around Ireland and the UK. The RNLI operates 46 lifeboat stations in Ireland. The RNLI is independent of government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, the charity has saved over 142,200 lives.

The RNLI is also a proud partner of the GAA in Ireland. The two organisations are working together to improve the health and well-being of local communities with the aim to reduce drowning and to share life-saving advice.