RNLI rescue 23 teenagers from stricken tall ship off Cork coast

RNLI rescue 23 teenagers from stricken tall ship off Cork coast

The stricken tall ship Astrid off Kinsale. Picture: Axel Busse

Twenty-three teenagers and seven crewmen have been rescued after the Dutch tallship Astrid ran aground off the coast of Cork.

The tall ship hit rocks off the Sovereign islands near Kinsale, Co Cork, this morning as it attempted to navigate the western entrance to the harbour near the tourist town.

Those on board were from Ireland, France, Britain, the Netherlands and Spain.

The lifeboat service described it as a major sea and air rescue.

Just before 1pm RNLI crews reported that 18 people had been rescued and were on board a lifeboat on their way to shore.

The other 12 people were taken on board a second tall ship.

Clip via uptherockies on YouTube.

Local lifeboats from Kinsale, Ballycotton and Courtmacsherry, two Coast Guard helicopters from Waterford and Shannon, and local coast guard units were involved in the operation just west of Oysterhaven, near Kinsale.

RNLI crews reported that some of those rescued were in a very shocked state and suffering from mild hypothermia.

The 42m sailing training vessel had been taking on water after striking rocks. Wind conditions in the area were around Force 5 to 6 - stronger than was forecast.

A spokeswoman for the event the boat was taking part in said it had suffered engine failure as it was making its way to Kinsale.

RNLI rescue 23 teenagers from stricken tall ship off Cork coast

The stricken tall ship Astrid off Kinsale. Picture: Axel Busse

“At 11.50pm the captain of the tall ship Astrid signalled that he had a problem. We stood by, and other boats also stood by. We simply did not have the power to pull the Astrid off the rocks,” she said.

“It was engine failure.”

Other tall ships taking part in the event were Celtic Mist from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Spirit of Oysterhaven, and boats from Hull, Tollesbury, Shoreham on Sea, Hamble, Portsmouth, Poole, Salcombe in the UK.

The boats were part of The Gathering Cruise which was due to arrive in Kinsale today and continue to the Glandore Classic Boat regatta on Friday. It is one of hundreds of events being held in Ireland in a mass tourism drive to get people with Irish links to visit the country.

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