Five sailors recovering after yacht sinks off Sherkin Island in West Cork

40-foot yacht ran aground after becoming caught in old fishing nets

Five sailors are recovering in West Cork after they were rescued by Baltimore RNLI when their yacht ran aground on rocks off Sherkin Island in Roaringwater Bay. The boat subsequently sank.

The five sailors had issued a May Day call at 2.55pm on Tuesday when their 40-foot yacht became caught in old fishing nets south of Sherkin Island just off Baltimore and lost steerage.

According to a Baltimore RNLI spokeswoman, Kate Callinan, strong tides pushed the vessel on to the rocks and Baltimore RNLI launched its all weather boat, Alan Massey.

A local boat skippered by Baltimore RNLI crew member, Jerry Smith, picked up the May Day call and waited near the yacht until the Alan Massey arrived.


Mr Smith reported that all five people on board had managed to get off the yacht on to the rocks and were away from immediate danger.

RNLI Coxswain Aidan Bushe decided the best course of action given the sea conditions was to launch their small inflatable Y-Boat from the all-weather lifeboat with two RNLI crew members on board.

David Ryan and Kieran O’Driscoll manoeuvred the Y-Boat around to a more sheltered area of the rock where they were able to pick up the sailors one by one and brought them safely aboard the lifeboat.

The rescue effort was managed by the Irish Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre on Valentia Island also saw the Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115 assisting.

Baltimore RNLI’s Kate Callinan said: “Once all the passengers were aboard, Baltimore RNLI crew members recovered their Y-Boat and the lifeboat returned to Baltimore, arriving back at 4.16pm.”

She said anyone who finds themselves in an emergency situation on or near water should immediately contact the emergency services 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times