They return to Ireland

Three yachtsmen from the capsized Fastnet Race boat, Rambler, went back to Ireland to thank the rescue services for saving their lives.

They turned up on Valentia Island in Co Kerry to meet their radio operator saviours in person, the Irish Times reports.

Sixteen of the 21 crew were rescued from the overturned hull, but five had drifted in the water for up to three hours when co-ordinators at Valentia pointed a dive boat in their direction.

Maurice Curtin, who was on duty at the radio station, explained how instinct had steered the searchers. “We decided to run a drift line instead of the square search which is the normal practice,” Mr Curtin said.

This resulted in the five being plucked from the sea in half an hour. Running the square search would have taken 1½ hours.

“We really appreciate that they have come back to say thank you to us and to the Irish people.

“This is not a regular occurrence,” Mr Curtin said.