30 people were rescued Wednesday from a sinking tall ship which had ran into trouble along the coast of Ireland near Kinsale.
Four lifeboats with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) were launched Wednesday at about noon following reports that the 42-meter Dutch training vessel, Astrid, was taking on water after she hit rocks at Ballymacus Point near Kinsale in Cork, Ireland.
Both Kinsale and Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboats were called out to assist the sail training vessel.
RNLI says that the Astrid had lost power and was driven onto the rocks by a strong southerly wind. RNLI reported two meter swells and winds of Force five to six.
Eighteen of the casualties were taken off the Astrid by Kinsale RNLI lifeboat and transferred to Courtmacsherry lifeboat, before being brought to safety.
The remaining twelve were put onto a liferaft deployed by the Astrid’s crew, which was towed to safety by the Kinsale lifeboat and picked up by a local vessel.
Irish Coast Guard helicopters from Waterford and Shannon were also on scene along with ambulances and medical crews from Cork, RNLI reports.
Local media has reported that the majority of those on board were teenagers.
Commenting on the incident, Courtmacsherry RNLI Coxswain Sean O’Farrell said: “Everyone was very fortunate. I want to praise the quick thinking of the skipper and the crew from the Astrid. They kept calm and did everything we asked them to do. We were able to get them to safety quickly and a major tragedy was averted. To be able to recover thirty people was a great day for everyone involved. It was a great team effort between the RNLI lifeboats and all the vessels that came to their aid.”
The Astrid was built in 1918 as a freight logger in a Dutch shipyard. She is currently owned by a Dutch-based charity and was visiting Ireland as part of a regatta.
Here are some photos from the incident: