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Three people rescued from yacht by Larne lifeboat

RNLI Lifeboats were launched a total of 269 times in 2015

THREE sailors who got into difficulty on the Irish sea had to be resuced by the Larne lifeboat last night, it has emerged.

An RNLI spokeswoman said the crew had to be rescued from a six metre long vessel which was travelling from Norway to the Caribbean.

The three women were making their way in the direction of Belfast after traversing the Caledonian canal when they encountered problems.

The alarm was raised approximately 11.30pm after the yacht suffered engine failure seven miles north east of Larne.

The all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Norman Surplus launched at 11.45pm and made its way to the scene near the Highland perch, an area far from the coastline known to be hazardous for its shallow water.

Weather conditions at the time were described as excellent with light to no wind blowing and good visibility despite it being dark.

On arrival, a volunteer lifeboat crew member transferred onto the yacht where he first checked that the three on board were safe and well.

The lifeboat crew then proceeded to work with the vessel’s crew to establish a towline before the lifeboat brought the yacht into the safety of Larne harbour. On arrival the all-weather lifeboat was met by the station’s inshore lifeboat which assisted the rescue operation.

Speaking following the call out, Larne RNLI Coxswain Norman Surplus said: ‘The three women did the right thing tonight and raised the alarm when they got into difficulty and thankfully all three are safe and well and we would like to wish them a safe onward journey. 

"We would encourage anyone visiting the coast this summer, to remember to respect the water. When sailing, always have a means for calling and signalling for help and ensure everyone onboard knows how to use it. Always check the weather forecast and tide times. Make sure someone ashore knows where you are going and who to call if you don’t return on time. Learn how to start, run and maintain your engine and always carry tools and spares."

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