Wexford RNLI rescued the lone sailor after his yacht hit a sandbank in rough seas off Rosslare Point, Ireland.

Volunteer lifeboat crews from Wexford and Rosslare Harbour RNLI were called out at 6.35pm on 20 April following reports that a 26 foot yacht had hit a sandbank off Wexford, Rosslare Point.

As little information was given about the location, both the inshore lifeboat from Wexford and the all-weather lifeboat from Rosslare Harbour proceeded to Wexford Bar. The RNLI says this area is known for its “treacherous seas over a myriad of sandbanks”.

Once on the scene, volunteers with Wexford RNLI spotted the vessel 100 metres north of Rosslare Point on Wexford Bar. Two crew members, Damien Foley and David Maguire climbed onto the yacht, which was at anchor, to find a lone sailor tired from his 14 hour voyage from Fishguard, Wales.

The crew battled to release the anchor with waves crashing over them. It eventually broke and according to the RNLI “the yacht escaped being broken up”.

The lifeboat towed the yacht, navigating it through difficult lumpy seas out to deep water. Here, the tow was dropped.

The crew members onboard the yacht then “steamed the vessel over a dirty Wexford bar under the watchful eye off Rosslare Harbour RNLI,” according to the RNLI press release.

The sailor and his yacht were safely brought alongside at Wexford Quay.

Speaking following the call out, the Wexford RNLI helm, Sinead Casey said: “This was a challenging rescue but our crew who are highly skilled and trained managed to take the vessel under their control much to the relief of the tired sailor who was on a voyage from Wales to Scotland.”

“Thanks to the great team effort by the volunteers from both Wexford and Rosslare Harbour, the sailor and his yacht were rescued from very difficult seas,” concluded Casey.

Meanwhile, the Teignmouth and Exmouth lifeboats were launched on the afternoon of 20 April to assist a lone sailor on board a 28 foot yacht. The vessel was in difficulty off Teignmouth Bar in rough conditions.

xmouth RNLI tows the yacht to Torquay

Teignmouth RNLI’s Atlantic 85 class lifeboat transfers the casualty ashore whilst Exmouth’s Shannon class lifeboat takes over the casualty yacht tow to Torquay. Credit: Exmouth RNLI


The crew of the Teignmouth Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, the Two Annes reached the yacht and assessed it was at risk of being driven ashore.

Due to the size of the vessel and the sea conditions, the crew requested the assistance of the Exmouth Shannon class lifeboat. The male yachtsman was transferred to the Teignmouth lifeboat and  taken to the Teignmouth boathouse.

The yacht had suffered rudder damage and lost its steering. It was towed to Torquay Marina by the Exmouth crew.

The Exmouth RNLI navigator, Roger Jackson said: “The sea state was rough with at least a three metre swell, winds gusting 30 knots and once we arrived on scene, we discovered there was two feet of water inside the boat.”

“The casualty was transferred to Teignmouth lifeboat station by their crew volunteers who looked after him. It was too rough to tow the yacht into Teignmouth or Exmouth, so we took the yacht to a berth at Torquay Marina for safety,” concluded Jackson.