Baltimore RNLI rescue father and son during French race

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Published on: June 17, 2009

Date: 17/06/2009

Baltimore lifeboat rescues yacht (Credit RNLI/Youen Jacob)

A French father and son who were taking part in a race to the Fastnet were rescued in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday 17 June 2009) seven miles south of Baltimore Harbour. The pair got into difficulty when a large wave hit their Mini Transat yacht Petit Bonum and threw them into the water. They were wearing safety harnesses but their mast was broken by the wave and their yacht was left in darkness.

The men left Douarnez in France last Sunday and were en route to the Fastnet before returning to France. After the wave struck their yacht the experienced sailors alerted the Coast Guard at 2.35am and the Baltimore RNLI all weather lifeboat was launched.

On arrival at the scene the Baltimore lifeboat crew checked on the condition of the crew and the yacht and quickly established a tow, they returned with the crew and their damaged yacht into Baltimore Harbour. Seventy five Mini Transat yachts were taking part in the race.

Monsieur Guillaume Bonniot and his father Laurent are remaining in Baltimore to make arrangements for repairs to their yacht before travelling home. Speaking following the rescue Monsieur Bonniot said, “ We wish to thank the lifeboat crew for their assistance. They were very quick and professional. We felt very supported and of course there was great chat between us.”

Baltimore RNLI Coxswain Keiron Cotter added, “ When we received the call in the early hours of this morning we were very anxious to get to the yacht as quickly as possible. The men were experienced sailors and had taken excellent safety precautions including the wearing of harnesses. This meant that when they were washed off their yacht they were able to reboard it quickly. Sadly they were unable to complete the race but they have been receiving some Baltimore hospitality before they head home.

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