Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Man drowns after yacht capsizes

The Irish Coast Guard rescued two people

A man missing from a yacht which capsized off west Cork has been found drowned.

A search was carried out in Roaring Water Bay for the sailor after another man and a woman who had been on the boat with him swam to shore and spent the night on an island after an accident.

Lifeboat crews recovered the body of the man off Sherkin Island at about 8.20am.

The alarm was raised at about 7pm yesterday evening by friends of the three sailors, aged 76, 66 and 60, after they failed to return on time to Schull following a trip around the bay.

The yacht, Zillah, was discovered upturned in Roaring Water Bay about one and a half miles from shore between Castle Island and Carthy's Island shortly after first light this morning, an RNLI spokeswoman said.

The rescued man and woman were discovered shortly after first light suffering the effects of hypothermia after swimming to shore and staying overnight on the north-west corner of Castle Island. They were airlifted to Baltimore were they were assessed by paramedics and transferred to hospital.

The third man whose body was recovered later was said to have been wearing a lifejacket when he went into the sea several hundred metres from one of the islands.

The rescued couple told crews that he drifted off in the sea as they swam to shore.

A massive air and sea search, co-ordinated by the Irish Coast Guard and involving RNLI inshore and all-weather teams, a local rescue boat from Schull and the Navy began when the group failed to make it to port as planned.

The Schull rescue team found the couple.

The yacht was a Drascombe Lugger, about 20ft long and twin masted. It was found upturned about one and a half miles from shore near Castle Island.

The boats are popular in the area and conditions in more sheltered parts of the bay are considered ideal for vessels of this kind.

RNLI crews said they had no reports of bad weather in the area last night and although it was breezy with the wind coming from the north west there was nothing to suggest the bay was being hit by heavy seas or high winds.

The sailors had set off from Schull yesterday afternoon and were planning to sail around Long Island in Roaring Water Bay.

The yacht left at about 4pm and the trip should have lasted about two or three hours.

Friends of those on board raised the alarm at about 7pm and the local inshore rescue boat from Schull cancelled a training exercise and launched the first search.

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