Stricken yacht towed to Baltimore


The 100-foot maxi yacht which capsized off the Fastnet Rock earlier this week has been towed into Baltimore harbour in west Cork.

The Rambler 100 hull, which has already become something of a tourist attraction, was towed in early this morning by Sean Harrington of Atlantic Towage and Marine Ltd of Castletownbere.

The hull was pumped out last night off Barley Cove, after several attempts to right it. It was eventually turned upright late yesterday evening.

Divers had examined it yesterday morning , checking out the condition and retrieving personal items. The 65 metre mast, now on the seabed, has been marked for later retrieval.

The yacht is owned by US multi-millionaire George David and had been leading in its monohull class, and had just rounded the Fastnet rock on Monday evening, when it lost its keel and turned turtle.

All 21 crew, including Mr George and partner Wendy Touton, were rescued, but Ms Touton – who spent several hours with Mr George and three others in the sea - was flown to hospital with severe hypothermia before being discharged.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has begun its preliminary inquiry into why the canting keel snapped, resulting in a sudden loss of stability.

The MCIB has been liaising with the Cayman Islands authorities, where the maxi yacht, worth between $10 and $14 million, (€7 to €11 million) is registered. 

The Fastnet race host club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) is also co-operating and holding a review.

The 608 mile race is continuing between the Isle of Wight, the Fastnet rock and Plymouth, with the last of the fleet expected to finish shortly.