Wicklow RNLI all-weather lifeboat Annie Blaker launched at 6.45pm this evening (Thursday 4 April) following a launch request from the Coast Guard to assist a yacht in difficulties. The 15m yacht on passage from Portugal to Dun Laoghaire was nine miles south east of Wicklow head when the propeller got fouled in ropes.
Wicklow lifeboat was alongside the yacht which had two crew on board at 7.30pm. Conditions in the area were described as wind north easterly in direction force 4. Sea state was choppy with a two-metre swell and visibility was poor in the rain.
Two lifeboat crew were transferred onto the yacht, they assessed one of the sailors, who had been in the cold water and had managed to cut the rope from the propeller. He was checked over and did not require any further medical attention. With the obstruction cleared from the prop, the yacht was able to get under way using its engine, the lifeboat crew remained on board as it headed towards Wicklow.
Wicklow Lifeboat escorted the yacht back to Wicklow, where it was safely secured alongside the north quay shortly before 9.30pm.
The all-weather lifeboat Annie Blaker has been on station at Wicklow since 1989 and is the last remaining Tyne class lifeboat in service in the RNLI fleet. Annie Blaker is to be retired from service in the coming weeks and will be replaced by a relief Shannon class lifeboat.
The crew on the callout were Coxswain Nick Keogh, Mechanic Brendan Copeland, Ciaran Doyle, Tom McAulay, Dean Mulvihill, Joe Hanlon, Matt Doyle and John Stapleton.