8 August 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
Baltimore RNLI brought two people safely ashore after their RIB (rigid inflatable boat) lost power earlier this afternoon (Tuesday 8 August), east of Fastnet Rock lighthouse off the West Cork coast.
The volunteer lifeboat crew, who were already on exercise in the area of the Fastnet Rock lighthouse, were alerted by a call from a vessel at 3.15pm that another vessel with two people onboard had lost all power. The callout came as the crew onboard the RIB was watching yachts rounding the Fastnet Rock and Lighthouse during the famous race.
The lifeboat was only two miles from the casualty vessel, a 7.5 metre RIB. Conditions at the time were good with a north westerly force 2-3 wind and 1 metre sea swell.
Once on scene the lifeboat crew established a tow and brought the vessel back to Baltimore Harbour, securing her to the pontoon before returning to the lifeboat station at 4.20pm.
There were six volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Kieran Cotter, Mechanic Sean McCarthy and crew members Pat Collins, Don O’Donovan, Eoin Ryan and Cyril Thornton.
Speaking following the callout, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘Thankfully the lifeboat crew were on scene very quickly after the call was raised. Baltimore RNLI has a strong connection to the Fastnet Race having been involved in a number of dramatic rescues over the years. The lifeboat crew regularly exercise during the famous race to be nearby in case they receive a call for help.’