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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 18 October, 2019
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Three men rescued from Ophelia off yacht in Co Wexford

The three had encountered extreme difficulty in attempting to bring their yacht to harbour early this morning.

J-NM-R086-003 Source: RNLI

THREE MEN WERE RESCUED this morning off the coast of Wexford as Storm Ophelia made landfall in the south of the country.

A volunteer lifeboat crew with Rosslare RNLI launched after receiving a mayday call from a 10-metre yacht which had been attempting to get to safety since the early hours of the morning as the mammoth storm began to take hold.

The men had attempted to gain entry to several harbours but were constantly pushed back by gale-force winds and the rising tide.

After the rescue was completed at about 2pm this afternoon, RNLI operations manager at Rosslare RNLI Dave Maloney declared himself “extremely proud” of his 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,” he said.

The yacht was fully 10 miles offshore when the three men issued their distress call.

The RNLI crew, commanded by Eamon O’Rourke, launched with six volunteers and encountered force nine winds and six metres of sea swell en route to the stricken yacht.

Once the crew reached the yacht, the RNLI vessel established a tow cable and pulled it back to shore.

The lifeboat finally landed back on dry land at 2pm at Rosslare Harbour.

“When the lifeboat crew reached them they were side on to the weather, taking a ferocious pounding and in danger of getting overwhelmed,” said Maloney.

I think if another hour had passed this story may not have had such a successful outcome.

Live: Country in lockdown as Storm Ophelia kills three people

Read: Ophelia transport update: No buses or trains in the country until tomorrow at the earliest

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