Cork RNLI rescue rock band stage manager after 52 days at sea

Cork RNLI rescue rock band stage manager after 52 days at sea

Sixty-eight-year-old Pete Currier who has worked with famous bands, such as UB40, U2, Prince and Nirvana, was sailing solo for 52 days when he got into difficulty off The Old Head of Kinsale.

A well-known ex-rock band stage manager was rescued at sea by the Kinsale RNLI on Saturday.

Sixty-eight-year-old Pete Currier, who has worked with numerous acts including UB40, U2, Prince and Nirvana, was sailing solo for 52 days when he got into difficulty off The Old Head of Kinsale.

Mr Currier was on a journey from Carriacou, one of the islands of Grenada in the Caribbean, en route to the UK.

The sailor and former music manager set sail on Thursday 13 May. Three weeks into the voyage the 51ft ketch ‘Sea Symphony’ lost engine power, forcing the skipper to continue his epic 6,500 km journey under sail.

The vessel was unable to move for 10 days when the wind dropped and following that, his sails were damaged.

The alarm was raised with the Irish Coast Guard on Saturday morning, as the vessel was travelling at three knots per hour with no prospect of reaching its intended destination.

Kinsale RNLI volunteers tracked the vessel online throughout the day and grew increasingly concerned for its safety.

At 6pm, the lifeboat was requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard to assess the situation and they located the vessel off The Old Head of Kinsale.

Lifeboat helm Jonathan Connor placed crew member Felix Milner on board the yacht and, after consultation, decided that taking the ketch undertow was the safest way to assist the vessel to reach the nearest safe and suitable port.

Crew member Felix Milner remained on board the yacht on the final leg of the journey to Kinsale harbour to safeguard the wellbeing of the skipper, who was exhausted but uninjured despite his long ordeal.

After arriving in Kinsale at 9.15pm, the RNLI said the sailor enjoyed his first hot shower in over seven weeks before being reunited with his son and two daughters, who live in West Cork and were waiting for him on the pier.

After arriving in Kinsale at 9.15pm, the RNLI said the sailor enjoyed his first hot shower in over seven weeks before being reunited with his son and two daughters, who live in West Cork and were waiting for him on the pier. Picture: RNLI Kinsale Facebook
After arriving in Kinsale at 9.15pm, the RNLI said the sailor enjoyed his first hot shower in over seven weeks before being reunited with his son and two daughters, who live in West Cork and were waiting for him on the pier. Picture: RNLI Kinsale Facebook

Commenting on the rescue, Pete said: ‘Volunteers at Kinsale RNLI are some of the nicest people I have ever met. Their expertise and commitment leave me humbled. It is an institution I have always supported and will do so for the rest of my days.” 

Kinsale RNLI Helm Jonathan Connor added: “It is a tribute to the sailor’s seamanship that he made a 6,500 km voyage single-handed and remained calm and focused despite the many problems he encountered in the course of his journey. He is very fit and able but was clearly exhausted after 52 days alone at sea. We were glad to help him over the final hurdle and bring him safely to Kinsale.” 

Kinsale RNLI Helm Jonathan Connor added: “It is a tribute to the sailor’s seamanship that he made a 6,500 km voyage single-handed and remained calm and focused despite the many problems he encountered in the course of his journey. He is very fit and able but was clearly exhausted after 52 days alone at sea. We were glad to help him over the final hurdle and bring him safely to Kinsale.” 
Kinsale RNLI Helm Jonathan Connor added: “It is a tribute to the sailor’s seamanship that he made a 6,500 km voyage single-handed and remained calm and focused despite the many problems he encountered in the course of his journey. He is very fit and able but was clearly exhausted after 52 days alone at sea. We were glad to help him over the final hurdle and bring him safely to Kinsale.” 

Pete has been fundraising since April to repair his boat to its former glory. ‘Sea Symphony’ is a Formosa 51 built-in 1979. It sleeps eight in three cabins, has a water maker, radar, 25kva Onan generator, a 115hp Perkins engine.

Mr Currier is offering those who make donations the chance to come sail on the boat with him.

“I offer in return the chance to come sailing, the chance to see this once beautiful boat returned to her former glory and once again sailing the oceans of the world. 

"To my mind, she is a work of art and I am privileged to work on renovating her. Help of any kind is appreciated.” 

To donate search ‘Sea Symphony’ on Gofundme or click this link.

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