One adult and four teenagers were rescued near Capel Island, off Knockadoon Head in east Cork this afternoon when the two small sailing boats they were in capsized.
The alarm was raised at 3:20pm and the volunteer crew of Youghal RNLI were requested to launch a lifeboat in a multi-agency response.
The launch request for the lifeboat was made by the Irish Coast Guard and the lifeboat crew were joined in the rescue by Ballycotton RNLI, Rescue 117 and the Irish Lights Vessel the Granuaile along with local Gardaí and paramedics.
The crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 3:23pm in cold, choppy conditions and arrived at the location within 15 minutes to discover three people holding onto an upturned boat.
Volunteer lifeboat crew quickly brought all three people on board the lifeboat.
On completing the rescue they learned that another vessel had capsized half a mile to the east.
The second boat, which had been out on the water with the first one, was quickly located and two further people were rescued from the water by Youghal lifeboat crew.
Both vessels were 14ft sailing boats.
All five people were taken to Knockadoon pier after being in the water for around 30-40 minutes and handed over to the care of the awaiting Coast Guard unit and Ambulance service.
Rescue Helicopter 117 and the Gardaí were also on scene.
Youghal RNLI then returned to the capsized vessels and with the assistance of Ballycotton RNLI and the Granuaile both boats were righted and towed individually back to Knockadoon pier.
Speaking after the call out Mark Nolan, Youghal RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, said the successful outcome was largely due to the safety measures taken by the five people involved.
“All three things enabled a swift response and a successful rescue from all the agencies involved.
“I would also praise the actions of our volunteer lifeboat crew here in Youghal who took the five casualties from the cold water.
“We wish the five people who were rescued a full recovery.”
Barry MacDonald, Ballycotton RNLI Coxswain also added his praise to the volunteers involved for their timely response.