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Dublin: 13°C Friday 24 September 2021
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Three kayakers stranded on rocks on Waterford coast rescued by RNLI and Coast Guard helicopter

The group became stranded when a sudden squall capsized one of the kayaks.

The lifeboat Helm performed a veering down manoeuvre which brought the lifeboat close to the rocks.
The lifeboat Helm performed a veering down manoeuvre which brought the lifeboat close to the rocks.
Image: Helvick RNLI

THREE KAYAKERS STRANDED on rocks at Kilmurrin Cove in Waterford have been rescued by a volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew and the Rescue 117 helicopter.

The kayakers became stranded yesterday afternoon when a sudden squall capsized one of the kayaks.

Conditions rapidly deteriorated and they were forced to seek refuge on the rocks.

The alarm was raised at 12.18pm and the Kilmurrin Cove Volunteer lifeboat crew from Helvick Head RNLI were dispatched to the scene along with the Rescue 117 helicopter, Bunmahon Coast Guard and Bunmahon Community Rescue Boat.

The winchman from Rescue 117 was able to descend from the helicopter onto the rocks and stay with the group as the lifeboat crew made the difficult approach to the rocks.

A lifeboat crew member swam to the rocks to assist the Rescue 117 winchman with the transfer of the casualties onto the lifeboat. 

The kayakers were brought to safety after the Kilmurrin crew carried out a challenging manoeuvre to bring the lifeboat close to the rocks in the choppy waters.

The group were helped onto the boat by the crew and the winchman from Rescue 117.

Kayaker rescue 2 A lifeboat crew member swam to the rocks to assist the Rescue 117 winchman with the transfer of the casualties.

“This was a great outcome in some challenging conditions. The wind picked up very quickly out there and the group were right to seek safety on the rocks,” Helvick Head RNLI crew member Joe Foley said.

We were glad to see that they were all wearing buoyancy aids and had not sustained any injuries other than some scratches.

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“The veering down manoeuvre which we carried out is something that we practice regularly in training, but every scenario is different, and it is challenging when dealing with multiple casualties and a moving lifeboat in choppy water,” Foley added.

The incident was the fourth callout for Helvick RNLI in the last ten days.

The RNLI advises people to always wear the proper safety equipment for the activity they are engaging in and always bring a means of calling for help. 

The importance of water safety came to national prominence in recent weeks following a number of deaths on lakes and in the sea during the recent heatwave.

About the author:

Céimin Burke

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