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Sailor with suspected spinal injuries rescued during yacht race

He was hit by a fallen mast in Dublin Bay.

Image: RNLI

A SAILOR WITH suspected spinal injuries was rescued during a yacht race today.

The RNLI said the man was hit by a broken mast on a yacht and is now receiving hospital treatment this afternoon. He was rescued on Dublin Bay during an operation involving the Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat and Irish Coast Guard helicopter.

Shortly after 11am, while the 33-foot yacht was taking part in a regular Sunday morning race on Dublin Bay, the mast snapped in the breezy conditions. The sailor was hit by the broken mast, which led to concerns that he could have a possible spinal injury.

The Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC) in Dublin was alerted and the RNLI lifeboat at Dun Laoghaire was requested to launch along with the Irish Coast Guard helicopter at Dublin Airport at 11.08am.

They located the yacht midway between the West Pier and the South Bull Wall in the bay.

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Complicated operation

The RNLI said the operation “was complicated by the collapsed rigging hanging over the side of the boat that prevented the crew from using the engine”.

Lifeboat crew were able to board the vessel to deliver first aid treatment and the winchman paramedic from the helicopter was transferred on board to assess the casualty.

The yacht was then towed to a yacht club in Dun Laoghaire, where the Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard unit winched the casualty to the waiting ambulance. It was towed so as not to disturb the sailor and add to any potential injuries.

A waiting ambulance transferred the sailor to hospital for full assessment and treatment.

Read: Five swimmers rescued from Galway Bay after dolphin attack>

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