Crew found after yacht overturns near Cork

Tuesday 16 August 2011 00.11
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Rescue - The Baltimore lifeboat during the rescue of crew from the yacht (pic: RNLI)
Rescue - The Baltimore lifeboat during the rescue of crew from the yacht (pic: RNLI)
Baltimore - 20 crew were taken back by the lifeboat with one airlifed to hospital (pic: RNLI)
Baltimore - 20 crew were taken back by the lifeboat with one airlifed to hospital (pic: RNLI)

The Coast Guard has said that all 21 people onboard a yacht which overturned off the Co Cork coast are now accounted for.

20 were taken back to the harbour on the Baltimore lifeboat while another crew member was airlifted to Tralee Hospital to receive medical attention.

It is understood that the yacht involved was taking part in the Fastnet Race and was found overturned almost 20km off the coast.

The yacht capsized at approximately 5.30pm with the Coast Guard receiving a sattelite message to say the vessel was in distress around an hour later.

The Baltimore lifeboat found 16 members of the crew on the hull of the upturned vessel; they had been there for approximately three hours according to the RNLI.

The five others crew members had drifted away from the yacht but had managed to tether themselves together in the water.

They were later spotted by the Baltimore deputy mechanic, who had taken his own Dive boat to join in the search.

The 20 who were taken ashore by the Balitmore lifeboat were taken to the local sailing club to be assessed.

Baltimore RNLI Coxswain Keiron Cotter said it was extremely hard to spot the yacht in the water and other vessels in the Fastnet race had passed nearby without seeing them.

'We saw a light in the distance and did not know what it was so we went closer to investigate it.... When we got nearer we saw that it was a torch the casualties were flashing to attract attention.

'Our priority was to get them back to shore as quickly as possible.'