Salvaged Fastnet yacht anchors in Baltimore


THE 100m maxi yacht which lost its keel and capsized off Fastnet Rock with 21 people on board earlier this week has been anchored in Baltimore in west Cork.

The Rambler 100 hull has already become something of a tourist trap in the middle of the harbour, attracting more attention than if it was a Fastnet race winner.

It was towed to Baltimore from Barley Cove early yesterday by the Ocean Bank deep-sea tug, owned by Bere islander Seán Harrington of Atlantic Towage and Marine.

The hull was righted on Wednesday off Barley Cove, after several attempts, and pumped out.

The vessel’s 65-metre mast is lying on the seabed, marked with a buoy for retrieval later.

“Life is returning to normal,” said Jerry Smith of the Baltimore-based Aquaventures diving company yesterday following the salvage.

Mr Smith and the crew on his dive boat Wave Chieftain rescued five of the 21 on board the yacht from the sea on Monday night, including owner George David and his partner Wendy Touton, while 16 were rescued by the RNLI Baltimore lifeboat in an operation that involved Valentia Coast Guard, the Irish Coast Guard’s Shannon and Waterford helicopters, the Naval Service and local boats.

Some of the Rambler 100 crew are still in west Cork, while others who were booked to participate in further offshore races have already left. Divers retrieved some personal belongings from the hull earlier this week. The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has spoken to crew members as part of its preliminary inquiry into why the canting keel snapped, resulting in a sudden loss of stability.

The board has been liaising with authorities in the Cayman Islands, where the maxi yacht, worth between $10 million (€7 million) and $14 million, is registered.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club, which says it will conduct its own review of the Rambler 100 capsize, has declared British yacht Rán as the overall winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race for a second consecutive time.

The 22m-yacht beat 30m-yacht British maxi ICAP Leopard by four hours, 38 minutes and 18 seconds on corrected time. Rambler 100 had been ahead of ICAP Leopard when it capsized just after rounding Fastnet Rock on Monday evening.

Some five yachts, including ICAP Leopard, passed close by but were said to have been unaware of what had occurred, due to weather conditions.