Two people and their dog have been rescued off the Clare coast after their yacht was reported to be on fire.
A multi-agency rescue operation was mounted at around 9.35am after the Irish Coast Guard received a call from the occupants of a 26ft yacht who reported they had a fire on board.
At the time, the vessel was off Carrigaholt Point on the southern coast of Clare.
Watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry mounted a rescue operation and issued a radio broadcast requesting any vessels in the area to proceed and assist if possible.
The Kilrush RNLI lifeboat was tasked along with the Shannon based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115. Two units of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service from Kilrush station were also mobilised to the local marina in Kilrush.
The lifeboat crew located the vessel soon after launching and found that the fire had been extinguished and that those on board were unharmed.
Once this was confirmed the rescue helicopter and fire brigade were stood down. The yacht was then taken on tow to Kilrush Marina where it was safely tied up alongside about 90 minutes after the alarm was first raised.
It’s understood that the yacht’s engine had begun to smoke before cutting out.
Kilrush lifeboat spokesman Charlie Glynn said: “Our crew responded within minutes and made their way to the scene where they located the casualty vessel. A volunteer was transferred onto the vessel and once our volunteers were satisfied no one had been injured and that the fire was out, they took the vessel on tow to Kilrush Marina.”
Mr Glynn added: “The skipper of the casualty vessel raised the alarm promptly which we would always recommend if anyone is in difficulty on the water. We would remind boat users as the good weather is here to always wear a lifejacket, carry a means of communication and let someone on the shore know where you are going and when you are expected back.
Should you get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard. Kilrush RNLI provides a 24/7 search and rescue service, which means no matter what time it is, our volunteer crew will respond to emergencies.”