Rescue teams were on the job today amid back-to-back operations as a search for a possible missing person began alongside a mission to assist a struggling kayaker in the water.
At 10.28am this morning April 10, the Valentia Coast Guard ordered Lough Derg RNLI to launch after an Illaunmore resident reported that a speedboat was in an unsafe location north of the island and appeared to have no one on board .
The Valentia Coast Guard requested the lifeboat to check the vessel and determine if anyone needed assistance.
READ MORE: Five men rescued by Irish Coastguard after boat sank off the English coast
Then at 10.39am the Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat Jean Spier set off with helmsman Eleanor Hooker, Doireann Kennedy, Chris Parker and Richard Nolan on board.
At 10.55 the RNLI lifeboat crew was able to see the casualty vessel at the reported location north of Illaunmore.
An RNLI crew member waded alongside the vessel and found her anchored aft, with a line from the bow to a tree on the shore.
When the ship was secured, the RNLI volunteer looked through the cabin windows and saw that nobody was on board.
The lifeboat reported its findings to the Valentia Coast Guard, who responded by disembarking the lifeboat.
The lifeboat left the site at 10:59 a.m. and returned to the station at 11:12 a.m.
Kayakers in Trouble
At 11.45am the Valentia Coastguard launched the Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to assist a kayaker who was reportedly in trouble in the water at Dromineer Bay near St David’s.
At 11:54 am, Jean Spier, with Eleanor Hooker, Doireann Kennedy and Chris Parker in the lead, launched and made his way to the kayaker’s location.
Along the way, two kayakers told the RNLI crew that there were four of them and their companion was in the water to the right of St David’s. A third kayaker, paddling to safety, pointed to the kayaker’s position in the water.
The RNLI volunteers quickly located the person whose profile was deep in the water.
At 11.56 the lifeboat was next to the casualty, who had managed to get up and lie lengthways on his upturned kayak.
The injured man was brought into the lifeboat with his kayak and paddle. The injured man was cold but showed no signs of hypothermia. While the lifeboat was taking the victim to safety, it encountered the other three kayakers rowing a sheltered route downwind of Goose Island. The lifeboat stayed with them until they reached safe harbor.
Upon returning safely to shore, the RNLI volunteers advised all four kayakers to change into dry clothing and have a warm drink immediately.
Aoife Kennedy, deputy launch authority at Lough Derg RNLI, said the earlier call was a “false alarm but with good intentions”. She thanked the public for their vigilance.
Ms. Kennedy advises all users of the lake to “check the weather before entering the water and remember that the water is still cold at this time of year, so dress appropriately for your activity.”
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