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TALL SHIP WRECKED: Sail Training Vessel Sinks on Irish Coast

In what has been described as one of the biggest, most complex rescue efforts ever undertaken on the Irish coast, two Irish Coastguard helicopters, three RNLI lifeboats, and a flotilla of various other craft saved all 30 crew and trainees, most of them teenagers, off the Dutch sail-training vessel Astrid after she went up on the rocks near Kinsale in County Cork on Wednesday. Astrid was driven ashore after her engine failed in a Force 6 southerly breeze.

Astrid, originally built as a freight logger in 1918, survived both world wars and a major fire in the 1970s. She sank within minutes, however, after being abandoned by her crew just a kilometer from the safety of Kinsale Harbor.

Astrid wreck aerial

Astrid wreck 1

Astrid wreck 2

Astrid skipper

Astrid's skipper, Pieter de Kam (center), comes ashore in Kinsale after the disaster

Apparently Astrid sank in the exact same spot as Falls of Garry, a British four-masted barque that went down in 1911. As with Astrid, all aboard were rescued, which I guess makes this a lucky spot to get wrecked.

Speaking of dead tall ships, you might want to also check out this excellent, very detailed interactive timeline, recently prepared by Mario Vittone, of all the events leading up to the loss of HMS Bounty in Hurricane Sandy last fall.

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