Sailor air-lifted from regatta accident
Vessel capsizes minutes into prestigious European racing event at Dún Laoghaire
A sailor with suspected spinal injuries was airlifted to Tallaght Hospital today after his vessel capsized just minutes into a prestigious European racing event in Dún Laoghaire which led to its immediate cessation.
The man was one of eight crew aboard the trimaran – a boat with three connected hulls – when it tipped over in rough weather conditions.
The Irish Coast Guard received multiple calls to the incident at about 2.40pm this afternoon which took place between Dún Laoghaire and Coliemore harbours during the Routes des Princes regatta.
In response, the Coast Guard tasked the Dublin rescue helicopter as well as the ún Laoghaire inshore and offshore lifeboats. The Civil Defence also responded.
At the scene, the helicopter winched the injured man aboard and transported him to Tallaght Hospital where he landed at 3.45pm.
He is believed to be recovering in hospital and his injuries are not thought to be as serious as originally feared.
The rest of the crew were brought ashore by an event boat. Their vessel, named Spindrift, was initially left submerged in the water but was later towed in upside down.
Immediately afterwards, the other eight boats in the fleet returned to harbour, just five minutes into the race.
Spindrift has won the previous leg of the race, arriving first into Dún Laoghaire from Lisbon last Wednesday.
David O’Brien of Afloat.ie was on the water when the incident took place.
“The accident happened about 700 metres off the starting line in the first race, as the boats were accelerating in the strong and gusty winds,” he said.
Today’s race had been billed “fast and furious”.