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Dublin: 16 °C Friday 24 May, 2019
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Kitesurfer rescued from extreme weather conditions in Dublin Bay

In a separate incident, reports in Howth of a person being washed off the west pier into the water were found to be a false alarm.

Members of the Irish Coastguard on the East Pier in Howth, Dublin, during a search for a jogger which turned out to be a false alarm.
Members of the Irish Coastguard on the East Pier in Howth, Dublin, during a search for a jogger which turned out to be a false alarm.
Image: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Updated 17.41

A KITESURFER WHO got into difficulty in extreme weather conditions in Dublin Bay this morning was rescued by the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI Lifeboat.

The man had been kitesurfing about 150 metres from the shore off Sandymount, Co. Dublin before getting into trouble in breaking surf at around 10.40am.

The RNLI say that the the man then abandoned his equipment in an attempt to swim to safety but was prevented from doing so by the tidal conditions.

He then used a waterproof mobile phone to alert the Irish Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-Ordination (MRCC) and the RNLI Inshore lifeboat  along with the Coast Guard unit from Dun Laoghaire were tasked to the scene.

The RNLI lifeboat was launched from Dun Laoghaire at around 10.50am with three volunteer crew members on board but they experienced heavy conditions at the harbour entrance due to the strong winds and rough seas.

The RNLI says that the lifeboat was operating at ‘extreme weather limits’ for its design.

The RNLI says that the lifeboat encountered breaking waves along the the entire shoreline from Blackrock to Sandymount before reaching the kitesurfer’s position which had been located by the Coast Guard unit in a shore search.

Due to the high risk of the lifeboat capsizing, the casualty was taken on board the lifeboat and returned to Dun Laoghaire instead of directly to the shore.

Stephen Wynne of Dun Laoghaire RNLI says that the rescue showed the skill of their voulteer crews.

“Despite the conditions, this rescue demonstrated the capabilities of this small but highly effective lifeboat and its crew. Considerable skill is needed to avoid capsize while rescuing a casualty.”

The rescued kitesurfer required no medical treatment when rescued and taken ashore.

image

A Coastguard helicopter at the East Pier in Howth, Dublin. (Pic: Brian Lawless/PA Wire)

Howth

In a separate incident, reports in Howth of a person being washed off the west pier into the water were found to be a false alarm.

A full team call out of the Howth coast guard unit was requested along with the Irish Coast Guard helicopter and Howth RNLI lifeboats after a member of the public reported seeing a jogger being washed into the harbour.

Following an extensive search in difficult conditions updated information from a witness was received and the search was stood down before noon.

The Irish Coast Guard say the call was considered a false alarm with good intent.

They have advised people not to walk along exposed areas of the coast line including harbour walls and seafronts with breaking waves.

Read: Heavy rain, strong gales and high tides causing flooding and road closures >

Read: Dún Laoghaire RNLI pay tribute to lives lost at sea >

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Rónán Duffy

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