HELPING HAND The Achill Island RNLI came to the rescue of two yachtsmen aboard this 29-foot yacht last week.
Dolphins damage 29-foot yacht off Achill Island
Achill Island RNLI came to the rescue of two yachtsmen aboard a 29-foot yacht on Thursday last after their boat was damaged by a school of dolphins.
After receiving a call to its station, the Achill Island RNLI launched to assist the yacht, which was 14 miles away and unable to steer due to a damaged rudder.
The two crew men on board were approximately four miles south west of Achill Head when they called for assistance.
According to the two crewmen their boat’s rudder was damaged after it was surrounded by a school of dolphins.
Speaking to The Mayo News about the incident, Edward Gielty from Achill Island RNLI, explained how such incidences can happen. “Now and again dolphins show up and when they see movements in the water they get interested. They can see boats as big fish,” he said.
Mr Gielty also explained that dolphins, sharks and whales can sometimes rub off or ‘bump into’ boats in attempts to dislodge barnacles and organisms that have attached to their skin. “There was a lot of dolphins. They could have been rubbing off the yacht, or they could have just been playing,” he said.
Arriving on the scene, Achill Island’s Trent class lifeboat and her volunteer crew towed the yacht back to Cloghmore Pier at around 9.45pm. Malin Head Coast Guard helped the crew bring the two sailors to safety.
No one was injured in the incident, and the yacht is is now bound for Killybegs in Co Donegal.