VIDEO: West Cork sailing tragedy: Dead man was living locally

By Claire O’Sullivan in Schull, West Cork

It is believed a man in his 60s who died when an 18ft yacht capsized off the West Cork coast this morning was living in the wider Schull area.

His body, which was found off Sherkin Island was taken to Cork University Hospital where a post mortem is due to take place.

Following a massive air and sea search around Roaring Water Bay, a husband and wife in their 60s and 70s who were also on the Drascombe Lugger boat were rescued in the early hours of the morning by an RNLI search and rescue team inshore lifeboat.

The couple had managed to escape the capsized vessel and swam to Castle Island. They spent the night on the island after the accident.

The Shannon-based Helicopter Rescue 117 airlifted the casualties and brought them to paramedics in Baltimore before they were transferred to Bantry General Hospital where they are being treated for hypothermia.

The yacht was found upturned about one and a half miles from shore near Castle Island.

Picture: Denis Minihane

RNLI spokeswoman Sheelagh Broderick said they had no reports of bad weather in the area last night.

"Although it was breezy with the wind coming from the north west, there was nothing to suggest the bay was being hit by heavy seas or high winds," she said.

According to the RNLI, the Drascombe Lugger is popular in the area and conditions in more sheltered parts of the bay are considered ideal for vessels of this kind.

Lifeboat crews recovered the man’s body at about 8.20am, nearly 24 hours after the search began. Emergency services were contacted shortly after 9pm last night when the crew of three failed to make it to port as planned at 7pm.

Baltimore Lifeboats immediately began a search of the area between Long Island and Horse Island and extending South through Roaring Water Bay.

The lifeboats continued searching as darkness fell until the search was stood down after midnight before recommencing at first light.

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