The volunteer RNLI crews were called out early yesterday morning to assist a sailor who had run into difficulty in heavy seas off Mayo’s Clare island.

The shout lasted nearly ten hours in very difficult sea conditions and was the longest tow ever carried out by Clifden RNLI, a total of 22 miles.

Both Clifden and Achill Island RNLI were tasked by Malin Head Coast Guard just after 6am, the sailor of a 46ft yacht had called for assistance after losing engine power and weather conditions were deteriorating. 

Sea conditions at the time were very difficult and the lifeboat crews faced four meter swells, driving rain and Force 8 winds out at sea. The casualty vessel was located 10 miles west of Clare Island, once on scene the crew communicated with the sailor who was unharmed and grateful for the assistance.

 Clifden lifeboat crew managed to establish a tow-line despite the storm conditions and commenced the long journey to safe harbour in Cleggan. Achill crew provided welcome cover and escorted St Christopher and the casualty vessel back to safety, before returning to base.  


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