A racing yacht abandoned off Newfoundland six months ago has washed ashore on a beach near An Clochán in west Kerry.
The nine-metre Illumia 12 had been lost at sea since 11 June when her Italian skipper was rescued by a Canadian coastguard helicopter 650km southeast of Newfoundland.
Illumia 12 had been taking part in a transatlantic race when the vessel was damaged.
The upturned hull was spotted yesterday evening by a surfer off Fermoyle beach and Valentia Coastguard was notified.
An initial inspection identified her as the abandoned yacht.
Members of the Dingle coastguard assisted in removing the vessel from the beach to a secure location.
Speaking to Nuacht RTÉ last night, the 26-year-old skipper said he was delighted to hear of the news from Kerry.
“I believe I may have been in collision with a whale. The boat was filling with water and I was very lonely.”
“I am so, so happy to hear my boat is not lost. I miss her. I cannot believe it. I will be coming to Ireland to take my boat home with me.”
Valentia Coast Guard said that given the coordinates of the rescue, the racing yacht had drifted for at least 3,000km before being washed ashore.
Source: RTE News