Two Newry men were among three sailors rescued by the Colombian Navy after their sailing boat began to sink.
According to local media they were aboard the German-flagged ‘Pinocchio’ sailboat which got into difficulty when it started taking on water.
The crew, two of whom are of Irish nationality and a third English national, were sailing from Cartagena to Curaçao in Venezuela when the search and a rescue operation was launched 75 nautical miles northwest of Riohacha.
They have been named by local media as Gerald McKevitt and Francie McKeown, who are both originally from Newry but now live abroad.
In a statement, the Colombian Navy said:
“The ship of the Colombian Maritime Authority successfully rescued the three foreign citizens who were adrift on the high seas aboard a boat.
“The three citizens received first aid, food and hydration to guarantee their basic needs.
“For its part, the sailboat ‘Pinocchio’ sank and could not be rescued by the authorities.
“The rescued personnel were transported to the Santa Marta Coast Guard Station, where they were placed at the disposal of the corresponding immigration authorities.”