Irish Lifeboats

The definitive guide to the Irish lifeboat service

Latest News

Rosslare Harbour RNLI rescues 3 people during Storm Ophelia after yacht Mayday

Posted on October 16, 2017 at 1:30 PM


Volunteer lifeboat crew with Rosslare RNLI launched this morning (Monday 16 October) during Storm Ophelia to rescue three men onboard a 10m yacht after they issued a Mayday.


Rosslare Harbour lifeboat under Coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke brought a stricken yacht back to safety this morning. Ferocious seas with wind speeds in excess of 70 knots.

COXSWAIN E. O’Rourke MECHANIC M. Nicholas CREW A. Sheil, M. Ferguson, K. Morris, P. Quirke, S. Breen, R. Parish. Photo: RNLI/Rosslare Harbour


The crew had been trying to get to safety since the early hours and had attempted to gain entry to a few harbours but were constantly pushed back by winds and tides. Ten miles offshore from Rosslare and getting battered by the worsening weather they issued a Mayday before being rescued by the lifeboat crew.


Rosslare Harbour lifeboat, under the command of Coxswain Eamon O’Rourke launched with six volunteer crew and made the journey out to help the three men. Conditions were extremely challenging with force nine winds with a six metre sea swell. The lifeboat had to be carefully manoureved alongside the yacht by Coxswain O’Rourke to establish a tow.


The lifeboat crew made slow progress in the heavy weather but brought all three men safely ashore after 2pm at Rosslare Harbour.


Commenting on the call out, Dave Maloney, Rosslare RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘I am extremely proud of our crew. When the pagers went off this morning, as the storm was beginning to take hold, we had seven lifeboat crew down immediately to the station with a further six in reserve. Conditions were very unpleasant out there and we needed to get those three men to safety as quickly as possible.’


‘The crew of the yacht had been trying to come ashore since the early hours but were pushed back and ultimately unsuccessful. When the lifeboat crew reached them they were side on to the weather, taking a ferocious pounding and in danger of getting overwhelmed. I think if another hour had passed this story may not have had such a successful outcome.’

Categories: RNLI News