RNLI volunteers rescue sailor from rocks off Ardglass
A lone sailor was rescued from a grounded yacht off the Co Down coast yesterday.
It was an early alarm call for the volunteer Portaferry RNLI crew after their pagers sounded at 3.10am.
They were on the water and away eight minutes later.
They were part of a multi-agency response to a mayday call from a lone male sailor on board a 20-metre yacht which had become grounded on rocks at Phennick Point just off Ardglass, Co Down.
Already on the scene were the all-weather lifeboat from Newcastle and the Newcastle coast guard team.
In testing conditions, the man's yacht had become grounded on the rocks in rough seas which had a three to four metre swell.
The wind was south westerly at four to five knots with a cloudy sky overhead and good visibility.
Due to the position of the vessel on dangerous rocks and fishing gear in the area, the Newcastle RNLI crew on the larger all-weather lifeboat were unable to get close enough to lift the man off the stricken yacht.
However, the volunteer RNLI crew from Portaferry on the smaller inshore life boat were able to manoeuvre their vessel through the rocks and rough seas to lift the man from the rocks into the lifeboat.
Once on board, the volunteer crew took the man to Ardglass Marina, where he was safely handed over to the Newcastle coast guard team.
An Irish coast guard rescue helicopter had also been requested earlier on, but was later stood down.
The volunteer crew from Portaferry RNLI then returned to their station 4.55am.
Simon Rogers, Portaferry RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: "In testing conditions, the hard work and dedication of all the agencies involved in this morning's incident prevailed with a successful outcome."