Northern Ireland

Crew rescued by RNLI after Fastnet Race yacht overturns

Twenty-one crew members were rescued by the RNLI after the yacht Rambler 100 overturned during the Fastnet race
Image caption Twenty-one crew members were rescued by the RNLI after the yacht Rambler 100 overturned during the Fastnet race

Twenty-one crew members have been rescued by the RNLI from a racing yacht which capsized off the Irish coast on Monday.

The Rambler 100 was taking part in the Fastnet Race when it overturned off the Cork coast just after 18:30 BST.

Sixteen crew members who were huddling together on the upturned hull of the vessel were rescued by lifeboat.

Another five who were in the water and had drifted away from the yacht, were rescued by a local dive boat.

One of the five, a woman, was airlifted to hospital in County Kerry.

The race began from the Isle of Wight on Sunday with 314 yachts taking part.

The US-registered vessel is understood to have capsized between the Fastnet Rock and the Pantaenius Buoy, about 12 miles from Baltimore.

Several of the crew had been asleep below at the time and had to fight their way out from under the upturned boat.

The biennial race, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, runs for 608 miles along the south coast of the UK, across to the Fastnet Rock off the south-west Irish coast.

It then returns around the Scilly Isles to the finish in Plymouth.

A spokeswoman for the Irish Coast Guard said the seas in the area were not very rough at the time of the accident but that the weather conditions were foggy.

In 1979, 15 people died in the race when yachts were buffeted by treacherous conditions including strong winds and rough seas.

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