Two persons had to be rescued early yesterday after their yacht got into difficulty in poor weather off the Clare coast.
The alarm was raised at around 5.45am by the crew of a yacht that had tried to take shelter in Doonbeg Bay. As the yacht attempted to enter the bay, it inadvertently sailed across the mooring line of another boat.
The yacht’s propellor became fouled with the line leaving the vessel dead in the water and at risk of being blown onto rocks.
The occupants, thought to be from Dublin, raised the alarm by contacting the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue coordination centre on Valentia Island in Co Kerry.
The Kilkee unit of the Coast Guard was alerted and requested to assist a ‘yacht in distress’ in the Doonbeg area. The volunteer team launched their boat and raced to the scene where force 5 to 6 winds had been reported.
With the yacht at risk of being blown onto rocks, rescuers battled to clear the prop. A local diver offered his assistance and after a three hour operation, the propellor was cleared and the yacht towed to safety in the bay.
The man and woman on board were unharmed. They dropped anchor and remained in the area until weather conditions improved and they could safely set sail again.
Rescuers then had to secure the vessel that had it’s mooring cut by the yacht. That boat was also tied up safely before rescue teams were stood down.
Within minutes of returning to their base, the same volunteer unit was again alerted and requested to assist in a search for a missing person.
Personnel set out at about 9.30am and carried out searches in the west Clare area where the missing man was thought to have been. In the meantime however, the man turned up safe and well at his home.
In their third callout in a matter of hours, the Kilkee unit was mobilised to a pollution incident.
Staff at the Coast Guard station on Valentia Island received a call around midday reporting significant slick on the water between Carrigaholt and Loop Head.
The Kilkee team members went to investigate the report and located the pollution.
While the incident is being investigated, it’s believed the slick may be from a fishing boat that sank some years ago.