Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat called out to a yacht in difficulty off Mizen Head.

Categories: Uncategorized
Published on: May 22, 2012

At 1957hrs on Monday 21st May Baltimore Lifeboat crew were paged to launch to a yacht in difficulties off Mizen Head. By 2012hrs the Lifeboat ‘Alan Massey’ under coxswain Kieran Cotter was powering her way towards the casualty, also aboard were mechanic Cathal Cottrell, Pat Collins, Mícheál Cottrell, Ronnie Carthy, Jerry Smith and Don O Donovan. The original position of the yacht was given as being south of Mizen Head but on a north westerly drift with wind and tide. With the visibility down to below two hundred metres due to fog, the lifeboat located and reached the yacht at 2100 hrs. Coxswain Cotter made a decision to put a crewman aboard the casualty vessel to assist in connecting a tow, and in swelly conditions he expertly manouvered the lifeboat alongside so that crewman Mícheál Cottrell only had to step aboard. With a tow connected the lifeboat set course for Baltimore, arriving back in the harbour at 0015hrs on the 22nd. The decisions made by the skipper of the yacht were down to experience and other mariners should take note of his actions. With wind and tide against them they were making only 2 knots while sailing, he decided to motor sail to make more headway. While motoring they experienced gearbox failure, he wanted to make port, but with visibility falling and night approaching he decided to seek help before it got too dark. He didn’t want to attempt sailing into a strange port in poor visibility without the back up of an engine. He felt that he would need assistance and it was better to seek it before night fall. This was a sensible decision that all mariners should make when in difficulty, it’s better to seek assistance early before a problem escalates.

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