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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019
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Rambler 100 racing yacht capsizes off Cork; all 21 rescued

More details have emerged about the capsizing of the yacht, which was taking part in the Rolex Fastnet Race.

The Rambler 100, pictured at the start of the Fastnet Race yesterday. The vessel overturned off the coast of Cork this evening.
The Rambler 100, pictured at the start of the Fastnet Race yesterday. The vessel overturned off the coast of Cork this evening.
Image: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Updated, 7.30am

MORE DETAILS ABOUT the yacht that capsized off the coast of Co Cork yesterday have emerged.

The Rambler 100 yacht capsized last night but thankfully all 21 crew on board were rescued.

This morning, reporter Jennie O’Sullivan, speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland, said that conditions last night were very foggy.

Earl Williams was at the helm of the yacht, which had been taking part in the Rolex Fastnet Race, while another four crew members were on the deck at the time.

Williams said the mast hit the water and the yacht started to turn upside down quite quickly. “We didn’t have a lot of time to get out,” he told Morning Ireland, adding that some people were asleep at the time.

When the yacht capsized, five people were swept away, said O’Sullivan, while the people who were caught below the deck had to swim out of the yacht.

O’Sullivan described how five of the people who had been swept away “gathered together in a huddle and tied themselves to each other” to both buoy themselves up and also attract the attention of rescue boats.

They were in the water for two hours before being rescued.

The sailors were rescued by the RNLI Baltimore lifeboat, in a rescue effort that was coordinated by the Irish Coast Guard, shortly after the boat got into difficulty 10 miles south-west of Ballyieragh at around 6:30pm.

All 21 people on board the vessel – 20 men and one woman – were rescued, with 16 brought ashore on an all-weather lifeboat, and the remaining five taken ashore on an local diving boat.

It is thought that the boat, which had been among the leaders in the race at the time of its accident, lost its keel and overturned within two minutes. Its on-board GPS unit, used to track its location in the race, had stopped broadcasting some time earlier.

One member of the crew was airlifted to hospital in Tralee. Coast guard helicopters from Waterford and Shannon attended the rescue, as did an Irish naval vessel.

The Rolex Fastnet Race is a biannual race from the Isle of Wight to Plymouth, via Fastnet Rock off the coast of Co Cork. The Rambler 100 had been among the leaders in the race when it ran into difficulty.

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