The crew of the French-registered yacht found themselves waist deep in water while trying to keep the yacht afloat

The crew of a sinking yacht set off their EPIRB after finding themselves waist deep in water around 60-miles off the coast of Cork in Ireland.

The emergency beacon was picked up by Falmouth Coastguard at around 8am on Saturday (22 July).

It immediately requested the launch of the Penlee RNLI lifeboat, City of London III, as well as a coastguard helicopter from Newquay in Cornwall.

The helicopter crew arrived on the scene first and assisted the situation facing the Irish crew on the 40-foot French registered yacht.

A spokesman for the Penlee RNLI said: “They (the crew of the sinking yacht) had activated the EPIRB as they had a leak and were waist-deep in water and in need of help.”

“Their intention was to continue their passage to Ireland if possible. With an updated position, the yacht was found to be nearer 80 miles NW of Sennen Cove.”

RNLI crew assist the skipper and crew of a sinking yacht off Ireland

Ballycotton RNLI volunteers establish a tow. Credit: RNLI

“Following this the Irish Coastguard tasked their Rescue helicopter to proceed to the casualty with a salvage pump as well, together with the Ballycotton Lifeboat.”

“The Coastguard Helicopter from Newquay stayed on scene until their Irish colleagues arrived with the salvage pump. ‘City of London III’ was asked to continue towards the casualty until it was confirmed that the salvage pump was working effectively aboard the yacht and the water was receding,” said the spokesman.

On arrival, the crew of the Ballycotton lifeboat found that the water in the sinking yacht was receding. The Irish helicopter crew was subsequently stood down.

The RNLI crew then established a tow line and proceeding to tow the yacht to Crosshaven in Cork, arriving at around 9pm.

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Speaking following the 14-hour call out, Ballycotton RNLI coxswain, Eolan Walsh, said: “This was one of the longest callouts for our lifeboat crew as they spent nearly a day at sea ensuring the safe passage of a yacht which was taking on water miles off the Cork coast.”

“Many agencies and vessels played a part in the successful resolution of this and thankfully nobody was injured with both crew and yacht being brought safely to shore,” he explained to Breaking

“I want to thank my volunteer lifeboat crew who despite the challenging conditions were focused on bringing everyone home safely,” he added.

A spokesman for Penlee RNLI added: “To our knowledge this is the furthest distance a Sennen Cove lifeboat has been on service. A long and bouncy run for our crew and an even longer one for our friends from Ballycotton. We wish them well.”