*Photograph: John Mangan

ALMOST a week after a yacht ran aground at Kilkee Beach, the vessel has been transported out of Co Clare.

Last Wednesday a stranded yacht emerged on Kilkee Beach and it remained there until Tuesday when specialist equipment was needed to help transport it off the beach and back to Northern Ireland via road.

Skipper of the yacht, Bangor native Nigel Kearney and his two friends were asleep on the yacht before discovering that they had run aground. The trio managed to avoid any injuries and got off the vessel safely, this followed the mooring giving way at around 9am on Wednesday morning which he described as a “rude awakening”.

The Down man had undertaken a long-time goal of sailing around Ireland before the drama unfolded and this led to the 30ft Alikadoo becoming one of the most photographed attractions in West Clare while it was moored in Kilkee.

Nigel explained, “I am recently retired, I have been a sailor all my life and I always wanted to sail around the island of Ireland, I have done a lot of smaller trips but this was a dream to do it all in one attempt, not without stopping but I set aside eight weeks for this, I was slightly halfway through when it all came tumbling down last Wednesday”.

He added, “I was en route from Fenit in Co Kerry to Kilronan in Inis Mór on the Aran Islands, we set sail with a very favourable forecast which unfortunately deteriorated as we went along and the sea became very lumpy and confused, we had a rough passage around Kerry Head and Loop Head, my crew were feeling a bit queasy because of the lumpy conditions we weren’t going as fast as we predicted we would go so the arrival time in Kilronan was going to be after dark and I wasn’t very happy about coming in after dark because I hadn’t been there before. In the interest of safety I decided to divert to Kilkee, we have on board very good navigation equipment, information and books, I consulted all of those and researched that there were some available moorings which locals were very happy for visiting yachts to use, in the interest of safety and comfort we pulled in there”.

How the people of Kilkee have responded to offer assistance has “blown me away,” Nigel admitted. “We have been smothered with kindness, advice and offers of accommodation in holiday homes and free transport, storage for our gear, meals, everything”.

All photographs by John Mangan

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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