Page last updated at 09:07 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

Irish sailors rescued near Java

Map of Indonesia

A man from Londonderry and seven other sailors from Republic of Ireland are among the 16 people rescued in the Java Sea after their yacht ran aground.

Richie Fearon, the skipper of the Cork Clipper, had been taking part in the Clipper Round the World Race when it struck a rock.

The alarm was raised at 2000 GMT on Wednesday after the vessel struck a rock 200 miles north east of Java.

The crew boarded life rafts and were picked up by two competing yachts.

All of the sailors are now safe and their families have been informed.

The crew abandoned Cork Clipper after the yacht hit a rock near the small Indonesian island of Gosong Mampango.

The sailors moved to a rocky outcrop and from there used life rafts to transfer to two other yachts participating in the race, the California Clipper and Team Finland.

The 68ft (20.72m) Cork Clipper, which is based in Gosport, Hampshire, has been left lying on its side, taking in water.

International Rescue Services had been alerted by Falmouth Coastguard, who co-ordinated the operation to rescue the crew.

The 10-strong clipper fleet began the race on 13 September last year from the Humber estuary. Its current leg is from Geraldton in Western Australia to Singapore.

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