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Dublin: 20°C Sunday 26 September 2021
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Coast Guard rescue man who spent 10 hours in water off Co Louth

The man is expected to make a full recovery.

Rescue helicopter 116.
Rescue helicopter 116.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Images

A MAN IN his late 40s was rescued by the Coast Guard last night after spending 10 hours in the water off Co Louth. 

The man had gone out on the water around midday at Whitestown Beach in Dundalk.

Speaking on Morning Ireland this morning, Coastguard Head of Operations Gerard O’Flynn said the man, believed to be from Newry, went out in a “dreaded” inflatable dinghy which later capsized. 

His wife raised the alarm after he failed to return home.

Gardaí contacted the Coast Guard at around 9.45pm, who sent a land-based unit out to sweep the coast.

O’Flynn said the unit heard shouting coming from the water within an hour, and rescue helicopter 116, the Kilkee lifeboat and local pilot boat Mourne Mist were sent to search the waters.  

A local kayaker also assisted in the operation. 

“The man was located, initially recovered by the kayaker, transferred to the lifeboat and subsequently transferred to the Coast Guard helicopter,” O’Flynn said. 

The man was then brought to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, where he is “stable and in good spirits”. 

O’Flynn said the man was wearing a flotation device in the water, which “contributed to his survival” along with the temperature of the sea.

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“Sea temperatures would be close to their peak at this stage of the year, so that was important,” he said. 

He added that it was a “narrow escape” and appealed to people not to use inflatable dinghies if going out on the water.

“Please do not bring these things anywhere near waterways, seas, lakes, rivers. They’re not suitable,” he said. 

“They’re back garden toys and that’s as far as they should go.”

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