All 30 people have been rescued from a Dutch tall ship which ran up on rocks off the Cork coastline this morning.
The 30 crew and trainees from the 42 metre sail training vessel Astrid were rescued by the RNLI Courtmacsherry all-weather lifeboat and a local sail training vessel, Spirit of Oysterhaven, after the tall ship began to take on water in force five to six winds.
It is understood that the ship struck rocks on the western mouth of Oysterhaven shortly after leaving the anchorage this morning.
The alert was raised at around midday, and Valentia Coast Guard tasked the Irish Coast Guard Shannon and Waterford helicopters, the RNLI Courtmacsherry, Kinsale, Ballycotton and Crosshaven lifeboats and Irish Coast Guard shore teams from Old Head and Oysterhaven.
RNLI Courtmacsherry lifeboat spokesman Vincent O’Donovan said that all 30 crew and trainees were in liferafts when the lifeboat arrived at 12.35pm. Some 18 were taken on board the lifeboat, and 12 were taken by the Spirit of Oysterhaven, with all landed ashore at Kinsale.
“They were well shocked and some were in mild stages of hypothermia as they had been in the liferafts, and there was four metre well and force four to five southerly winds,”Mr O’Donovan said.
The Cork major emergency plan was activated, and a fleet of five ambulances and medical teams from Cork University Hospital were on the Kinsale quay when the rescued crew and trainees came ashore.
The ship began to break up and sink in the heavy swell. The LE Emer patrol ship was despatched, along with a Naval Service diving team from Haulbowline, to assess the situation.
The Astrid had arrived in Cobh, Co Cork, earlier this week from Southampton and Weymouth and was en route to Cherbourg in France.
It had anchored in Oysterhaven last night, along with a number of cruising vessels attacked to the Gathering Cruise, which is due into Kinsale today . The Damian Foxall-backed Gathering flotilla is en route to Glandore in west Cork for its classic boat regatta later this week.