Accidental activation of beacon on yacht prompted lifeboat launch this morning

The accidental activation of a location beacon on board a yacht triggered a lifeboat launch this morning, reports Eoin English.

The Irish Coast Guard picked up an alarm from an EPIRB (electronic position indication radio beacon) from a yacht half a mile south west of Cape Clear Island.

Baltimore Lifeboat

They could not raise the occupants of the yacht on their VHF radio and so they tasked Baltimore RNLI just before 10am to locate the vessel.

The lifeboat crew proceeded to the last known co-ordinates of the vessel as directed by Mizen Head Coast Guard.

Conditions at the time were south west winds, force 3 to 4, with a swell height of 1m and poor visibility due to mist and rain.

At 10.30am the Coast Guard finally made contact with the yacht’s occupants on their VHF and established that there were two people on board the yacht and all was well.

It had been an accidental activation of their EPIRB.

Baltimore lifeboat reached the vessel at 10.35am and were then stood down by the Coast Guard and returned to the lifeboat station, arriving there at 11am.

The lifeboat had six volunteer crew onboard, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Brian McSweeney and crewmen Micheal Cottrell, Sean McCarthy, Colin Whooley and Eoin Ryan. Tom Bushe,

Seamus O’Driscoll and Jerry Smith provided shore crew assistance at the lifeboat house.

Speaking afterwards, the lifeboat’s navigator, Micheal Cottrell, said: ‘"It is important to ensure the secure fastening of an EPIRB on board a vessel and to regularly check that it is in good working order.

"Also, whilst out at sea it is important to keep radio watch on channel 16.

"If you get into difficulty at sea, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard."

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