Belfast Telegraph

21 rescued as racing yacht capsizes

More than 20 crew on board a racing yacht have been rescued after it capsized off the Irish coast.

The US-registered boat, Rambler 100, was taking part in the Fastnet Race when it overturned about 16 miles from Baltimore, Co Cork.

One woman was airlifted to hospital after spending several hours in the water.

The RNLI said 16 crew members were sitting on the hull of the 100-foot vessel and five were missing when a lifeboat from Baltimore arrived at the scene.

Kieron Cotter, coxswain of the volunteering crew, said: "We picked the 16 people off the hull and took them on board the lifeboat with our dinghy going back and forth and organised for other boats in the area to search for the missing five. They were picked up by a local diving boat."

The five included a man in his 70s, he added.

The alarm was raised when the yacht's personal locator beacon was activated when it overturned five miles south west of Fastnet Lighthouse.

Mr Cotter, whose crew was on an exercise in the area, said the sea was not rough but that visibility was down to a mile as they searched for the stricken yacht and crew.

The Irish Coast Guard co-ordinated the major rescue operation, which involved Baltimore RNLI, the Shannon and Waterford-based rescue helicopters and Irish Naval vessel the LE Ciara.

One crew member was treated in hospital and 20 were taken back to Baltimore Harbour where they were assessed by medical staff.

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From Belfast Telegraph