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Larne lifeboat rescues three woman from a Caribbean bound yacht off Co Antrim coast

Published 30/07/2016

Three woman have been rescued from a yacht off the Co Antrim coast.

Larne lifeboat rescued the women late on Friday night after their 6m yacht got into difficulty off the Antrim coast.

The three women were on passage from Norway to the Caribbean having come through the Caledonian canal, and were heading to Belfast when they encountered problems.

The crew raised the alarm at approximately 11.30pm when their yacht was becalmed having sustained engine failure seven miles north east of Larne.

The all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Norman Surplus launched at 11.45pm and made its way to the scene near the Highland perch, an area far from the coastline known to be hazardous for its shallow water.

Weather conditions at the time were described as excellent with light to no wind blowing and good visibility despite it being dark.

On arrival, a volunteer lifeboat crew member transferred onto the yacht where he first checked that the three on board were safe and well.

The lifeboat crew then proceeded to work with the vessel’s crew to establish a towline before the lifeboat brought the yacht into the safety of Larne harbour. On arrival the all-weather lifeboat was met by the station’s inshore lifeboat which assisted at the end of the call out to put the boat on the mooring.

Speaking following the call out, Larne RNLI Coxswain Norman Surplus said the women did the right thing by raising the alarm as soon as they got into difficulty.

"The three women did the right thing tonight and raised the alarm when they got into difficulty and thankfully all three are safe and well and we would like to wish them a safe onward journey," he said.

"We would encourage anyone visiting the coast this summer, to remember to respect the water. When sailing, always have a means for calling and signalling for help and ensure everyone onboard knows how to use it.

"Always check the weather forecast and tide times. Make sure someone ashore knows where you are going and who to call if you don’t return on time. Learn how to start, run and maintain your engine and always carry tools and spares."

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