Why did rescuers head out in those conditions? Because that's what they do; they rescue people. I doubt that trying to be a 'hero' ever crossed their minds. My hat is off to them....
You're also glossing over the fact that apparently three of the five people from the boat were in the water, probably from the initial capsize. So telling everyone to don PDF's and stay on board would have been like closing the barn door after the horses were out.
We have dangerous bars here: the main one into our harbour isn't officially named "The Rip" for nothing - heck, we even have dangerous mooring areas (below is a picture of the one at Mornington in a storm) - so I'm not glossing over anything:
Whilst it's tragic that the yacht capsized and that some of the crew drowned, what I don't understand is the rescuers sending two
boats out into conditions where one of their own people died to save people off a yacht that crossed a closed
bar against the advice of the same authorities... Especially if the yacht is headed toward a sandy beach (not rocks) where the yacht is in no danger of breaking up and immediate help is at hand.
If that happened over here, there would be a major coronial inquest and people in authority would be reprimanded for mis-managing the situation!
I can only assume (from the other side of the world and based solely on Paulo's posts) that the rescue authorities mis-judged how bad the conditions were.
AIUI, in serious wave conditions it is not a good idea to send out more than one rescue boat since (a) there is a high risk of collision between rescue boats whilst at the scene and (b) you are putting more lives at risk.
Hopefully, in time, we will be told what really
happened out there...