Missing yacht arrives safely in Kerry

 

A missing yacht which sparked a massive air and sea search has arrived in Ireland tens days behind schedule.

The Golden Eagle, with two men on board, had not been heard from since it left Bermuda on August 21.

The Coast Guard confirmed its crew were safe and well when they arrived in Portmagee, Co Kerry, at 3pm today.

The men, a 69-year-old from Norway who owns the boat and an experienced 60-year-old sailor from New Zealand, were unaware of the continuing search operation.

“They had a little handheld VHF radio but were sparing the batteries so they hadn’t got it on at all until they were coming in,” said a Coast Guard spokesman.

“They said they had some slight damage to the sails and rigging because of bad weather.

“They also had to motor for a while because they had no wind for the first part of the trip.”

The Golden Eagle was due to arrive in Crookhaven, west Cork, on September 15.

The alarm was raised two days later when the family of the boat owner called the Norwegian Coast Guard who alerted Irish authorities.

The Navy and Air Corps were involved in the search off the south-west, while ships in the mid-Atlantic had been asked to try to contact the 32ft long yacht.

PA