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Kinsale RNLI crew rescue man after spotting him in sea during routine training exercise

The Coast Guard’s R115 helicopter also attended and transported the man for further medical attention.

Coast Guard helicopter R115 transported the patient to hospital following his rescue.
Coast Guard helicopter R115 transported the patient to hospital following his rescue.

A KINSALE LIFEBOAT crew rescued a man earlier today after a volunteer spotted him in the water near the Old Head of Kinsale during a routine training exercise.

Kinsale RNLI said crewman David Carter “saw the exhausted casualty being repeatedly swept back off the rocks” during a training exercise off Garretstown beach at 9am.

The crew alerted Valentia Coast Guard to request helicopter assistance as sea conditions prevented the lifeboat from reaching the casualty.

RNLI volunteers Jon Hynes and Colum O’Sullivan entered the water and swam in to help the man to safety and assess his medical condition, with the Old Head Coast Guard Unit and Kinsale Garda also on the scene.

Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 115 was tasked from Shannon and winched the man aboard to take him for further medical treatment. 

Lifeboat helm Jonathan Connor said the man was “very lucky” as he had been spotted “by pure coincidence”.

“We have no idea how the man entered the water, but he was alone in a fairly remote area so it is unlikely anyone else would have seen him and raised the alarm,” he said.

“We are all relieved that we decided to train in that area this morning, and that we were able to work with the other emergency services to bring the casualty to safety.”

Shortly after returning to Kinsale lifeboat station, the crew launched for a second time in response to concerns for the safety of a person on board a small inflatable RIB who had been at sea for longer than expected in the area of the Sovereign Islands.

Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 115 was also tasked, along with members of Oysterhaven and Summercove Coast Guard units. The vessel was located and escorted back to Oysterhaven.

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In a separate rescue operation in Castletownbere in West Cork, the local RNLI crew were tasked to a report of a 25 foot boat near the Dursey Sound with a woman on board who had taken ill and was ‘unresponsive’. The Shannon-based Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 was also sent to the scene.

The lifeboat located the casualty near Blackball Head and two lifeboat crew volunteers boarded the vessel. A first aid assessment was done and oxygen was administered and the casualty became responsive.

The woman was then transferred to the lifeboat before being winched onto the Coast Guard helicopter and taken to Kerry General Hospital.

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