Ballycotton RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat to aid a yacht in difficulty approximately 84 miles off the Cork coast.

The yacht, Vencom, with 10 people onboard was returning from the Rolex Fastnet Race when the vessel lost its rudder and was unable to steer.

The resulting support by Ballycotton RNLI, which launched at around 1pm on Wednesday, saw the volunteer lifeboat crew on service for over 10 hours, eventually returning home shortly after 11.30pm.

St. Mary’s lifeboat from the Scilly Islands was also requested to launch and was first to arrive on scene at 4.15pm on Wednesday afternoon, shortly followed by the Ballycotton all-weather lifeboat at 4.45pm.

St. Mary’s lifeboat put the Vencom under tow and began to take the vessel back ashore to the Isle of Scilly. The yacht was manoeuvring violently while under tow and was unable to hold a straight line behind the lifeboat which then required assistance from the Ballycotton lifeboat crew.

Ballycotton agreed to pass a casualty drogue to the yacht which enabled it to remain in a towable position and under control.

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Once it was confirmed that the casualty vessel and St. Mary’s lifeboat were safe and in a stable towing position, Ballycotton lifeboat was then advised to return home.

Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh said: ‘This was the furthest offshore rescue that I personally have ever been requested to and it was a pleasure to be able to assist the crew of the Vencom. We would like to commend both the crew members onboard the yacht who were all wearing suitable lifejackets and also thank the crew on board the St. Mary’s lifeboat for their efforts in ensuring a positive outcome for all involved. I would also like to thank my volunteer crew who despite a very long and tiring launch remained focussed on bringing everyone home safely. ’