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Video captures dangerous rescue in Irish seas

by Sail-World Cruising on 14 Sep 2011
Ballywalter rescue SW
Most of the really dramatic incidents on our world's oceans - rescues, dismastings, shipwrecks - happen out of the sight of a camera, but Aaron Quirey happened to be on the scene when a brave member of the Irish Coastguard descended from the rescue helicopter and braved high winds, dangerous rocks and a flailing yacht mast to rescue a sailor this week.

The yacht had ended up on the rocks on the County Down coastline near Ballywalter on the north east coast of Ireland. The rescuer was winched down to heavy breaking seas to attempt a rescue.

An initial attempt to land the rescuer on the yacht was eventually considered too risky and he dropped into the rock-strewn water, swam to the stern of the boat and climbed on board.

The rescuer then secured the skipper of the stricken vessel to his winch before the helicopter lifted both of them off the deck and onto the aircraft.

During the entire rescue the yacht was being buffeted on the rocks by a high wind, and the mast continued to flail dangerously for the rescue.

The rescuer then took the man to a landing site nearby, set up by the Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team. The rescued man was reported to be unharmed by his ordeal, but we'll bet he was a very shaken-up sailor.

Thank you Aaron for you quick-wittedness in getting the footage:

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